Capital High School isn’t headed to the Class 3A state tournament just yet. Whether the Cougars win a trip for the first time since 2010 will be decided next week.
Despite a late rally, Capital dropped a heartbreaker in the 3A West Central/Southwest bidistrict quarterfinals, 7-6, to Mountain View on Saturday, lengthening the road.
“You’ve got to play it one pitch at a time, like we have all season,” Capital coach Jesse Elam said. “That’s what it’s about. I think we’re one of the toughest teams left, and it’s up to us to prove it.”
The Cougars (12-10) did show resilience on Saturday afternoon at Heritage Park in Puyallup, chipping away at a six-run Mountain View lead in the final two innings.
“Everybody on the team knew we could get back into it,” Capital senior Sam Condon said.
Condon finished 3 for 4 with two doubles and four RBIs to lead Capital. His double in the bottom of the seventh drove in two runs to cut Mountain View’s lead to 7-5.
He tagged up and scored on a Travis Tallman sacrifice fly two batters later to make it 7-6.
That brought the winning run to the plate with two outs, but Mountain View pitcher Jasper Rank forced a groundout to stymie the rally.
“We were about two feet away from tying that game up right there,” Elam said.
But the early deficit proved too big.
Mountain View got in front of Capital pitcher Jacob Loose early and strung together four runs in the first and two in the second — and finished with 11 hits — to create enough of a margin.
“There’s a whole bunch of things you can go back to, but the kids didn’t dwell,” Elam said. “They got back to being focused and played a heck of a ballgame.”
Trevor Moore pitched five innings for the Thunder, recording the win. He allowed one run before giving up back-to-back doubles to Kyle Johnson and Condon in the sixth.
Loose suffered the loss, allowing six runs. Travis Tallman pitched the final six frames as the Cougars settled in, allowing one run.
“We had a lot of energy all game, but you’ve got to put focus with that energy, and we didn’t have the focus part for the first two innings,” Elam said.
“Other than that, we played dynamite.”
The road gets tougher now. Capital has to win its next three games to advance to the state tournament.
The Cougars will try to start that run at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Heidelberg Park in Tacoma. They play Peninsula (6-13) — a team they beat twice in the regular season — in a loser-out game.
“Coming into the next game, we’ve got to bring the focus from the start,” Condon said. “As you can tell in this game, the first two innings we lacked that focus and that’s what cost us the game.
“But, coming in with that focus for the entire time, I think we can go to state.”
Timberline 2, Evergreen 1: For the fourth consecutive season, Timberline is headed to the state playoffs — this time as a 3A team.
The Blazers (17-5) edged Evergreen (15-5) late at Propstra Stadium in Vancouver to advance to the 3A West Central/Southwest bidistrict tournament quarterfinals and secure a state berth.
“This group now is four years in a row making it to the state tournament,” Timberline coach Mark Rubadue said. “That’s pretty cool. That’s hard to do.”
Tucker Stroup scored the winning run on a Daniel Furman double off of the left field fence in the fifth inning to make it 2-0.
Evergreen cut the lead to one run in the sixth and loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the seventh. But Caleb Beard entered the game for the Blazers and forced two pop-outs to end it.
“That was kind of big at the end,” Rubadue said.
Stroup recorded the win, tossing 6 1/3 innings, allowing one run on six hits and striking out 10.
The Blazers recorded a shutout win over Bethel, 16-0, in the opening round on Saturday morning at Propstra.
Timberline plays Bonney Lake (18-2) in the semifinals at 11 a.m. Saturday at Heidelberg.
“Some of the pressure definitely comes off knowing you’re in the tournament, but I think down deep every coach and every player still wants to win the district title,” Rubadue said.
Yelm 1, Stadium 0: Brandon Thompson hit an RBI single to left field in the third inning, scoring Tanner Hummel, for the game’s only run at Bonney Lake High School.
The Tornados (11-8) regrouped from a 5-1 loss to Mountain View earlier in the afternoon at Heritage to keep their postseason bid alive.
Yelm plays Evergreen in a loser-out game at 4 p.m. Tuesday at Foss.
North Kitsap 5, River Ridge 0: Carson Bower hit a two-run home run for the Vikings in the first inning, and the Hawks never recovered at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds.
River Ridge (15-7) beat Franklin Pierce, 7-4, on Saturday morning to advance to the semifinals but need to win back-to-back games to earn a spot in the 2A state tournament.
The Hawks play Washington (8-8) in a loser-out game at 5 p.m. Wednesday at Franklin Pierce High School.
Pe Ell 9, Northwest Christian 2: The Navigators took a 1-0 lead in the fourth on a sacrifice by Cooper Downey that scored Lucas Babcock.
But the Trojans fired back with eight runs in the fifth to take an 8-1 lead they never lost in a 2B Southwest District tournament loser-out game.
Northwest Christian’s season ends at 9-7.
Toutle Lake 2, Rainier 1: The Ducks scored on an error in the bottom of the seventh to eliminate Rainier from the 2B Southwest District tournament.
The Mountaineers finished 10-9.