The 2A State Baseball Tournament in Yakima featured 1 returning team, the Selah Vikings who took 2nd last season losing the Championship to the Centralia Tigers. The Vikings have been in the State Championship game 6 times in school history and are 0-6 including last year’s 8-3 loss.
There are 2 former State Champions, Cedarcrest back in 2009 who beat Selah 10-6 and Ellensburg who won it all in 2014 defeating Lake Washington 2-1. The Kangaroos since moved to 3A and are again back in the final 4 in Pasco. Fife is the final contender and are making their 1st ever appearance at the Final 4 in school history. They were knocked out of the tournament in the quarterfinals losing to eventual State Champion Centralia 10-4.
Below are stories and picture galleries of all 4 games and be sure to look for our All-Tournament Team we will release by Monday.
Day 2 Championship Saturday
State Championship Game: Selah 14, Cedarcrest 3
(Yakima, WA) The atmosphere prior to the game was positive and hopeful for the Selah Vikings, but Vikings fans had been here before, in fact they had been here 6 times previously in the State Title game and each time had their hearts broken. Cedarcrest had also been here before in 2009 against the Selah Vikings and came away with the Championship and despite the Vikings impressive 23-1 overall record, they had an air of confidence in taking on the Vikings.
In the top of the 1st inning the RedWolves put a huge lump in every single Vikings fans’ throats when they scored 3 runs to go up 3-0. It didn’t appear Vikings pitcher Dustin Yates would even get out of the 1st inning. Cody Banks led it off with a grounder to 3rd baseman Dan Legg but a low throw and Banks was on by error. Blaine Wagner would walk followed by a sac bunt from Ben Lemery.
After a ground out to pitcher Yates Aaron Davenport came through with a 2-out, 2 RBI double to put Cedarcrest up 2-0. Levi Knott then singled in Davenport and after a half inning it was 3-0 RedWolves and you could hear a proverbial gulp come from the Vikings cheering section.
However, the only Viking fans not unnerved by the 3 run deficit were the Vikings themselves and answered immediately. With 1 out, Dac Archer would single and Yates walked. It appeared starting RedWolves pitcher Jacob Jewell may get out of the inning when he got a ground out for the 2nd out. Dan Legg then made him pay with a 2-out 2 RBI single and the Vikings were back in the game trailing 3-2. That hit would earn our game changing ProActive Physical Therapy Play of the Game.
Waylon Pettijohn then knocked in Legg with a triple and then would score on an error and it was 4-3 Selah. In the bottom of the 3rd Selah added 4 more when Legg led off with a single and scored when Pettijohn doubled. After 2 outs, Belton would walk, Carter Young got on by an error and Dac Archer hammered a deep 2 run double and it was 8-3.
Selah put the game away in the bottom of the 4th sending 10 to the plate and scoring 6 runs. Cort Dietrich led off with a double, Legg walked, Quincy was hit by a pitch then the hit parade began with DH Carter Chapman with an RBI single, Belton and RBI single, Young a sac fly, Archer an RBI single and then Yates with a 2 RBI single for the 13th and 14th runs. Yates then finished off the RedWolves in the top of the 5th facing 4 batters and getting Lemery to ground out to end the game due to the 10-run rule.
And that’s how you snap an 0-6 streak in State Championship games. Our Tommy Lowe of the Greene Realty Group Players of the Game went to Dustin Yates of Selah and Ben Lemery of Cedarcrest.
3rd Place Game: Ellensburg 8, Fife 1
(Yakima, WA) The Ellensburg Bulldogs won it all in 2014 and even though they couldn’t match that feat they weren’t going home with a loss and used a huge 3rd inning to take control of the Consolation Final to defeat Fife.
The Bulldogs would send 10 to the plate in the 3rd and chase Trojan starting pitcher Cole Connolly. Gage Gibson led it off with a single and was moved to 2nd base on a sac bunt. Dillon Larsen was hit by a pitch and Blake Gibson singled to load the bases. After a short fly out to center the bases remain loaded with 2 outs when all heck broke loose for the Bulldogs. Major Moffatt would get hit by a pitch to drive in the 1st run. Tyler Polacek then slapped an RBI base hit for the 2nd run followed by an RBI base hit from Trace Townsend. Xander Orejudos then ripped a single scoring 2 and Ellensburg held a 5-0 lead after 3. They would add another run in the 4th and 2 more in the 7th.
Fife had a chance to finish as the best team ever in Fife history but ended up tying with the 4th place finish. The only offense came from Kyle Mozzone (KMOMO) in the 4th when he drove in a runner from 1st with a 2-out double.
Our Tommy Lowe of the Greene Realty Group Players of the Game went to Ellensburg’s pitcher Taylor Smith who pitched a complete game, gave up 5 hits and 1 earned run with only 3 strike outs and 1 walk. For Fife Kyle Mozzone who went 2-3 with an RBI and a double and had 4 defensive put-outs.
Our ProActive Physical Therapy Play of the Game went to Xander Orejudos for the Bulldogs when he snagged a 1-out line-drive up the middle from Tanner Broom with Trojan runners on 1st and 2nd. Orejudos then flipped the ball to 2nd baseman Gage Gibson for inning ending double play and Fife never seriously threatened again.
Day 1 Semi-Finals
Game 1: Selah 5, Ellensburg 1
(Yakima, WA) The Selah Vikings have been here before and getting to the finals has not been the issue, winning it has as they are 0-6 in Championship baseball games. The Vikings were not unfamiliar with their foes in the Semi-Final, league rival Ellensburg. The Vikings were 3-0 this season against the Bulldogs and looked to make it 4-0 and take another swing at the big prize.
The Bulldogs not only have been here before they won it in 2014 so despite being 0-3 against the Vikings they were confident they could get the job done.
Ellensburg somehow stayed in the game despite committing 5 errors and walking 6. As they entered the 5th inning they trailed Selah only 2-0. Tyler Polacek would get on and take 2nd on an error. After 2 strike-outs the Bulldogs TJ Schneider grounded one to Selah short stop Dac Archer who dropped the ball and Polacek scored on the error. The Bulldogs were back in the game trailing 2-1.
The Vikings answered and put the game away when Waylon Pettijohn tripled to lead off the bottom of the 5th and scored when Riley Quincy squeezed him home. This play would win our ProActive Physical Therapy Play of the Game. After loading the bases with 2 walks and a basehit, Dustin Yates came to the plate and after being intentionally walked twice made the Bulldogs pay with a 2 out, 2 run single scoring Wyatt Pettijohn and Carter Young making it 5-1.
Vikings starting pitcher Cort Dietrich went the distance giving up just 3 hits and 2 of those back-to-back with 2 out in the top of the 7th. He also struck out 11 and was named our Tommy Lowe of Greene Realty Player of the Game for Selah. Our Ellensburg player of the game went to Bryce Helgeson.
Selah will face Cedarcrest for the State Title at 4pm on Saturday. These 2 teams played each other in 2009 for the Championship and the Red Wolves came away with the big trophy. Ellensburg will play Fife for 3rd place at 10am on Saturday.
Game 2: Cedarcrest 3, Fife 2
(Yakima, WA) The RedWolves were looking to return to the State Title game since they won it all in 2009 against Selah. A great play by their shortstop Cody Banks will do just that as the Fife Trojans threatened not only to tie the game in the bottom of the 7th but brought the winning run to the plate.
Before we get to the crazy bottom of the 7th, both teams ace pitchers were firing bullets and both threw complete games, Tanner Knapp for Fife and Aaron Davenport for Cedarcrest. The Trojans blew a great chance to score 1st in the bottom of the 3rd when they filled the bases with just 1 out. Kevin Nakamura was at the plate and the runners all took off but Nakamura took the pitch and Wesley Nixon was an easy tag out at home by RedWolves catcher Blaine Wagner. A ground out ended the inning still at 0-0.
Cedarcrest would break threw in the 4th inning when Cody Banks led off with a double with a ball down the right field line that literally hit the chalk. He was sac bunted over and then an RBI base hit from Ben Lemery made it 1-0. The RedWolves would add 2 more runs in the bottom of the 5th. After a ground-out, Josh Goodrich grounded one to Cole Connolly who dropped the ball and couldn’t find it and Goodrich was safe. After a strike-out, Banks would single followed by an RBI single from Wagner making it 2-0. Lemery would then knock in his 2nd run with an RBI base hit and it was 3-0.
Fife nearly tied it and won it in the bottom of the 7th. Nixon led off legging out his 2nd infield base hit. Jaden Hassell then got hit for the 2nd time in the game and went to 1st. Tanner Broom then hit into a fielder’s choice leaving runners on 3rd and 1st with 1 out. Knapp then grounded one back to Davenport and Nixon took off for home. Instead of getting the easy 2nd out, Davenport went home to try and get Nixon. Nixon stopped and got himself into a pickle. After Wagner threw it back to 3rd baseman Ryan Tracy who then overthrew Wagner and Nixon scored followed by Davis Bottemiller who was running for Broom to make it 3-2 with Knapp, the tying run on 2nd and winning run coming to the plate.
Jordan Anderson came in to run for Knapp at 2nd and Kevin Nakamura came to the plate. Nakamura drilled one right up the middle for a sure base hit when Banks made his Superman play of the game diving and snagging the line-drive for the 2nd out. Anderson was off to the races and Banks got up and tagged 2nd base easily doubling off Anderson for the game ending double play and the RedWolves are headed to meet Selah again for the State Championship on Saturday at 4pm. Fife will play at 10am against Ellensburg for 3rd place. And yes that Banks double play easily earned our ProActive Physical Therapy Play of the Game.
Our Tommy Lowe of Greene Realty Players of the Game went to Cedarcrests’ Aaron Davenport and to Fife’s Wesley Nixon.