River Ridge coach Chad Arko wanted to pull starting pitcher Thayer Murphy “five or six times” against Class 2A SPSL rival Washington in the teams’ 2A West Central District must-win consolation baseball game Thursday.
Instead, the senior gutted out a complete-game, two-hitter with five strikeouts in the Hawks’ 5-4 win over the Patriots at Silverdale’s Kitsap County Fairgrounds, despite River Ridge’s six errors.
“He found a way to win,” Arko said. “He was one batter away from being done, and every time, he found a way to get out of a jam.”
With the Hawks’ lead at 4-2 entering the seventh, errors helped Washington tie the game at 4-all, but River Ridge (10-13) won it on a lucky break in the bottom half of the seventh to stay alive in the consolation bracket and advance to Saturday’s 1 p.m. consolation game against North Mason in a winner-to-regional elimination game at Franklin Pierce. After No. 9 hitter Austin Screeton (3-for-3 in the game) led off the inning with a single, followed by a walk. Arko called for a double-steal and an attempt to throw Screeton out a third failed, resulted in his game-winning run.
“We rolled the dice,” Arko said.
2A District IV
Tumwater 7, Woodland 0: Behind Noah Andrews’ four hits and a complete-game effort from senior Elijah Hill, the Thunderbirds secured a Class 2A regional berth.
The T-Birds (16-6) face 2A Evergreen Conference rival Centralia at 5 p.m. Friday for the 2A District 4 title Centralia’s Ed Wheeler Field.
The top of the T-Birds’ lineup, including Keenan Milligan and Riley Owen, who will get the start on the hill Friday, each had two hits apiece, as did Andrew Pillar who coach Clay Hill elected to pinch-hit for his brother, Austin.
“That’s what’s impressive in playoff time, that’s when you want to get hot — it worked out today,” Hill said.
As for Elijah Hill, he was equally as impressive on the mound, throwing a shutout with nine strikeouts, allowing just three hits.
Black Hills 11, R.A. Long 4: The Wolves' five runs in the sixth inning helped Black Hills pull away to remain alive in the consolation bracket of the 2A District IV tournament with a win to eliminate the Lumberjacks.
Josh Boyd, Ryan Jones, Tate Determan and Ben Warner had two hits apiece to lead the Wolves' offense.
Black Hills faces Hockinson, which fell 9-2 to Centralia in Thursday's semifinals, at 1:30 p.m. Saturday and must win two games to earn a 2A regional berth. The top three teams out of District IV advance to regionals. The winner of Saturday's 1:30 p.m. game faces the winner of Saturday's 11 a.m. consolation game -- W.F. West-Woodland -- at 4 p.m. Saturday at Centralia for the final regional berth.
3A West Central/Southwest bi-district
Columbia River 11, Capital 3: Four errors in the first inning by the Cougars aided the Chieftains’ seven-run inning, and Capital coach Jesse Elam played the “what if” game had the first inning not gone the way it did for the Cougars.
Instead, the deficit was too much to overcome in a consolation game at Heidelberg Park in Tacoma, ending Capital’s season at 12-11.
Before the first inning ended, Columbia River’s lead already was 7-0, but walks and a wild pitch led to Sam Congdon scoring in the third for Capital’s first run. Mitchell Dooley’s RBI double broke up Taylor Easterly’s no-hit bid in the fifth. Easterly struck out 12 Capital hitters.
Sumner 5, North Thurston 3: Joey Muscarnera retired the first nine batters he faced, as he and Preston Fullington combined to start off Sumner’s 3A West Central/Southwest bi-district consolation game against North Thurston with a no-hitter through five innings pitched in the Spartans’ 5-3 victory over the Rams at Auburn Mountainview High School. Sumner faces Shelton, a 8-5 winner over Wilson, at 1 p.m. Saturday at Heidelberg Park, in a loser-out contest.
Already with a 5-0 lead after two innings, thanks to RBI hits from Johnny Staley and Gage Whitehead, Sumner (17-6) tagged Rams starter Hunter Nielsen for four earned runs on seven hits over two innings.
In the sixth, the Rams had four of their six hits. Josh Congdon and Noah Murski led off the inning with back-to-back singles, later scoring to make it 5-3.Todd Beamer 5, Yelm 4 (11):
Taylor Davis’ walk-off single gave the Titans the win over the at Kent’s Art Wright Field.
Davis totaled three RBIs on the day, singling in the first, third, fourth and 11th innings for Yelm (15-7). His 2-RBI single in the fourth tied the game-at 4-all. Dakota Hill's 2-RBI single in the first inning gave Yelm a 2-0 lead.
It was the third consecutive extra-inning for the Tornados; they topped Kentridge, 9-3, in 10 innings on Tuesday to open the bi-district tournament and won their final regular-season game, 5-4, over Bellarmine in 12 innings May 4.
Capital No. 1 seed to 3A bi-district: Behind pitcher Maddie Lincoln’s complete-game effort, Capital earned the top seed to next week’s 3A bi-district fastpitch tournament after a 6-1 win over Central Kitsap at the Narrows League.
Lincoln struck out 14 Central Kitsap batters, as Capital (13-8) got all of its offense in the fourth and fifth innings. Rachel Erickson went 2-for-3 with an RBI and Kaitlin Mastin had two doubles and two RBI.
Shelton’s 9-3 win over North Thurston gives the Highclimbers the third seed to the bi-district tournament while the Rams take the fourth seed. Dominique Greeno hit her third home run of the tournament against Shelton. Wilson and Lincoln also advance to bi-district.
In 4A, Gig Harbor handed Olympia its first losses of the season, 4-3, as the Tides take the top seed to the 4A bi-district tournament. Yelm topped South Kitsap, 12-3, in the third/fourth-place seeding game, and Bellarmine’s 5-2 win over Timberline gives the Lions the fifth and final seed to the bi-district tournament.