There’s sure something magical about the River Ridge baseball team when the postseason rolls around.
The players find ways to win.
A measly two hits against top-seeded Mark Morris to open the Class 2A District IV tournament was just enough to get the job done and get the victory. The Hawks showed resilience against Hockinson in Wednesday’s semifinal, coming back from a 3-1 deficit when the sixth inning began.
After their dramatic 5-4 win over Hockinson that ended on a bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the seventh, they’re back in a familiar place they’ve been the past two years: the 2A District IV title game.
And for the second straight year, River Ridge (10-12) faces Centralia for the district title, set for 5 p.m. today at Centralia. Both teams have secured regional berths, but the winner takes the No. 1 seed.
River Ridge’s performance this week is one of a handful that had dramatic outcomes. Black Hills beat second-seeded R.A. Long, and Chehalis was upset in the opening round. And in boys soccer, Tumwater earned its first state berth since 1993 after its 2-1 (4-2 shootout) district win over Washougal on Wednesday night.
To put it lightly, shootouts haven’t been kind to the Thunderbirds this season. Their previous three resulted in losses, including two to Aberdeen. But Wednesday was another story. Andre Celas came up clutch with the team’s long goal in regulation and followed it up with the final goal in the shootout. Bryce Archambeault, Josh Wright, the EvCo’s offensive MVP, and Nathaniel Gundersen were the others to score in the shootout.
“The first three (shootouts this season) were good practice,” Tumwater coach Bryan Winkler said. “The timing was good.”
Devon Dieckman, came up clutch with three saves on penalty kicks – one in regulation and two in the shootout.
“He was phenomenal,” Winkler said.
Tumwater heads north for its state tournament game Tuesday, but will play R.A. Long in a state seeding game at 4 p.m. Saturday at Tumwater District Stadium.
Rochester is back in a familiar place, playing in the 1A District IV title game against Castle Rock at 3 p.m. Saturday at Castle Rock. The Warriors, the state champions in 2008, beat La Center on Onalaska on Tuesday afternoon to reach the title game. … Black Hills looks for its first state berth in school history when the Wolves face Chehalis at 11 a.m. Saturday at Centralia’s Ed Wheeler Field. The last time the two teams met? Black Hills upset of the previously-unbeaten Bearcats, 3-2, on April 28. … Defending 2B state champion Northwest Christian is in a tough spot and needs to win two games to earn the third and final state berth. The Navigators take on Pe Ell at 10 a.m. Saturday. … With a state regional berth already secured, Capital faces Union at 10 a.m. Saturday at Auburn Mountainview. Win and the Cougars play for the No. 1 seed and district title at 7 p.m. … Olympia plays Kentwood at 11 a.m. Saturday at Puyallup’s Heritage Park with a shot at a No. 3 state seed.
3A DISTRICT SOCCER SATURDAY
Capital (17-0) and Yelm (12-4) each play in winner-to-state games at Ingersoll Stadium on Saturday. Yelm faces Franklin Pierce at 11 a.m., and Capital takes on Enumclaw at 3 p.m. For Yelm, this will be a familiar foe, as the Tornados defeated the Cardinals, 3-1, on April 5.
Day 2 of the WCC/SPSL subdistrict track and field championships begins at 11 a.m. Saturday at Sumner … The 2A subdistrict and Narrows League girls tennis tournaments begin today. The 2A subdistrict begins at 8:30 a.m. today at Bally Total Fitness in Lacey, while the Narrows League championships begin at 9 a.m. at the University of Puget Sound. Both tournaments conclude Saturday.
Meg Wochnick: 360-754-5473 firstname.lastname@example.org