AUBURN — With their tuxedos in their parents’ cars at Auburn Mountainview High School, Timberline High School baseball players quickly wrestled out of their sweat-stained uniforms and into formal attire — but not before a trip to the school’s locker room to clean up — in time to experience their prom Saturday night at Tacoma’s Point Defiance Aquarium, albeit two hours late.
The players’ dates likely understood their tardiness: The Blazers won the 3A West Central/Southwest bidistrict title, 3-1, against Columbia River to earn the No. 1 seed for next weekend’s regional.
The victory means Timberline (22-2) will stay close for regionals next Saturday, too. The Blazers will play Bainbridge at 1 p.m. at Centralia’s Ed Wheeler Field. Win two next weekend, and they’re in the Final Four in Pasco.
The friendly confines of Centralia sit well with the Blazers. They would have traveled to Bellevue had they finished as the second seed.
“There’s a little comfort there,” senior catcher Benny Kaleiwahea said before rushing off to the Auburn Mountainview showers. “A lot of us have played there.”
Kaleiwahea started the title game against the Chieftains of Vancouver with a solo home run to left. He also had a monster day behind the plate. In the 3-0 semifinal victory over Bonney Lake and the title game, he threw out a combined four base runners at second — two in each game.
After Brandon Olson pitched a three-hitter in the semifinal, the Blazers had several hours to kill before their 7 p.m. title game. They went to a local movie theater to watch the baseball film “Million Dollar Arm” and got in some relaxation time.
Then, it was Zach Owens’ turn to take the mound. The junior went the distance, striking out five and giving up eight hits and one earned run. He retired six of the final eight batters he faced, including a game-ending strikeout of Taylor Easterly.
Timberline coach Matt Acker praised Owens’ maturity level and development.
“It’s amazing how far he’s come,” he said.
Three errors in the fifth by Columbia River helped the Blazers’ lead grow to 3-0 after getting singles from Taylor Adams, Chris Roy and Kaleiwahea.
“We’re getting better at the right time,” Kaleiwahea said, “and we’re ready to go win more games.”
Rams earn 3A regional berth: North Thurston won its loser-out games in the 3A West Central/Southwest bidistrict tournament against Decatur (1-0) and Mountain View (3-2) to secure a regional berth.
Hayden Maliska scored the only run against Decatur in the morning game, and the Rams scored all three of their runs in the second against Mountain View.
Senior Ryan Mets pitched all seven innings against Mountain View, recording 15 strikeouts.
Shelton 4, Bonney Lake 2: Despite being limited to three hits by Bonney Lake’s Taiki Green and Grant Townsend, the Highclimbers (11-13) earned the bidistrict’s third seed to next week’s 3A regional with their win over the Panthers. Trevor Gregory had one of Shelton’s three hits and drove in two runs.
Shelton will play a regional game at 10 a.m. Saturday at Dream Field in Mount Vernon.
Woodland 11, Rochester 1 (5 innings): The Class 1A top-ranked Beavers scored seven runs in the first inning to cruise to the 1A District IV title for the second consecutive year in Castle Rock. Dylan Fosnacht, whose 194-pitch performance Tuesday made national news, started at shortstop as he and Josh Larson combined for both of the Warriors’ hits.
Rochester (16-6) will be the district’s No. 2 seed and will begin regional play at 10 a.m. Saturday in Anacortes.
Tenino 7, Hoquiam 2: The Beavers won to secure the district’s third seed to regionals and will play at 10 a.m. Saturday in Castle Rock.
Olympia wins singles, doubles titles: The Olympia Bears captured the singles and doubles titles on the final day of the 4A Narrows League tournament at the Capitol City Tennis and Athletic Center.
Freshman Ali Topp won by injury default over teammate Sydney Pham in the singles final, while the Bears’ No. 1 team of Rachel Kelso and Catty Zhang won the doubles title, 6-1, 6-2, against Gig Harbor’s Sydney Daily and Abby Miller.
Olympia’s Mina Craig and Tiffany Barker earned third place, sweeping Bellarmine’s Megan Yates and Mia Smith, 7-5, 6-1.
The top four singles players and doubles teams advance to next week’s 4A West Central District tournament.
North Thurston’s Alison Wood won the 3A Narrows singles title, defeating Shelton’s Kassy Slone, 6-3, 6-3. North Thurston’s Mallory Woolf received the third district spot over Melinda Richardson of Timberline via injury default. In doubles, North Thurston’s Ainsley Winterrowd and Sidney Smith routed Lincoln’s Lillian Le and Miriam Cabrera, 6-2, 6-0, for the title.
Capital 3, Mark Morris 0: The 2A Evergreen Conference regular-season champion Cougars earned the final District IV berth to the Class 2A state tournament, shutting out the Monarchs of the Greater St. Helens League.
Capital got goals from Karl Stout, Nigel El-Sokkary and Thi Hoang after El-Sokkary’s goal in the 30th minute gave Capital a 1-0 halftime lead.
The Cougars will travel to Anacortes, the No. 2 seed from District 1/2, to begin the first round of the state playoffs. The time and date of the game was not announced Saturday night.
Bonney Lake 3, Shelton 0: The Highclimbers saw their season end at 10-3-3 against the Panthers, Class 3A’s top-ranked team, in a WCD/SW bidistrict game at Highline Memorial Stadium.Meg Wochnick: 360-754-5473 firstname.lastname@example.org theolympian.com/ southsoundsports @megwochnick