BELLEVUE – After securing a shutout victory Saturday morning to reach the 3A baseball regional final, Timberline was held to two hits in a 5-1 loss to Eastside Catholic to end the Blazers’ season at Bannerwood Park.
Junior Blake Gillespie, the Crusaders’ starter, set the Blazers down in order for most of the game, and didn’t allow a Timberline baserunner from the second through the sixth innings.
“It was tough,” Timberline coach Derek Weldon said. “This time of the year, a lot has to do with the pack of arms you have.”
Timberline (15-7) started the day with a 5-0 victory over West Seattle, highlighted by a 3-for-4 performance at the plate by Rick Ahlf and a combined shutout by freshman starter Matt Mercer (six-plus innings) and reliever Ty Carlton.
Despite being one victory away from reaching the final four for the first time sine 2009, the Blazers did something no previous Timberline baseball team had ever done: reach state in back-to-back seasons, led by three seniors Ahlf, Ryan Tydingco and Charlie Hinson. Hinson and Tydingco were the 3A Narrows League’s MVP in 2011 and 2012, respectively.
“Those kids were so successful here,” Weldon said.
2A District IV: Black Hills senior Julie Hansen captured the 2A District IV singles title with a 6-4, 6-2 sweep of Centralia sophomore Anna Scheibmeir at the Mint Valley Racquet Club in Longview.
The pair also met in last weekend’s 2A EvCo subdistrict meet where Hansen won, 7-6 (7-3), 6-4. The top three singles players and doubles teams advance to next weekend’s Class 2A state tournament at the University of Washington’s Nordstrom Tennis Center.
In doubles, Tumwater’s No. 1 team of Emily Barclift and McKenzie Click will make their third trip to state, despite falling to W.F. West’s top doubles team of Reile Slattery and Aleassa Wren, 6-2, 6-4. Slattery and Wren also defeated Barclift and Click in last weekend’s subdistrict tournament.
“They (Slattery and Wren) played really strong and our girls were a little bit off,” Tumwater coach Jim Click said.
Tumwater and Centralia shared the district team title. Tumwater’s Olivia Koelsch placed fourth, losing to Hockinson’s Michelle Chiou, whom Koelsch defeated 6-3, 6-3 on Friday.
3A West Central District: The No. 1 singles players from Yelm and Timberline – Ester Hotova and Natalie Sypeck – earned state berths in next weekend’s 3A state tournament after surviving loser-out matches. Hotova topped Sypeck in the fourth/sixth-place consolation match.
4A West Central District: Olympia’s Gemma Robinson bounced back from an opening-round loss at the 4A West Central/Southwest bi-district tournament to place seventh and earn a state berth at next weekend’s 4A state tournament. Robinson captured in the seventh/eighth-place match after an injury default by Maddie Turek of Tahoma, who won the first set 6-3. The Bears placed seventh as a team with eight points.
4A West Central/Southwest bi-district: Olympia’s John Stormans and Hunter Wood, the defending 4A boys doubles state champions, came back from a first-set loss to defeat Kentwood’s Alex Noyes and Paul Lennick, 6-7 (5), 6-1, 6-1, to win the bi-district doubles title.
Stormans and Wood cruised to three straight-set victories in the first-round, quarterfinals and semifinals to reach the championship match. The pair helped Olympia tie for second with 10 points in the team race. Union (24) won the team title.
In the 3A district tournament, Timberline senior Jeremy Marsh earned his first state berth (sixth place), defeating Columbia River’s Chris Perez in a winner-to-state, loser-out consolation match, then battled Kennedy’s Vincent Viloria in a 3-hour, 40-minute fourth/sixth-place match. Viloria won but Marsh battled back from a deficit in a tiebreaker.
“It was an amazing desire to win,” Timberline coach Diane Weston said.