4A baseball: Undefeated Puyallup books trip to state semis
Edmonds-Woodway needed history to repeat itself.
Special to The Seattle Times
TACOMA – Edmonds-Woodway needed history to repeat itself.
The Puyallup Vikings avoided a repeat of what happened to them in 2011 and went on to capture the 4A Region 3 baseball championship at Heidelberg Park on Saturday.
No. 1 and undefeated Puyallup beat the Warriors 1-0 in the regional semifinal round. The Vikings, fourth- or sixth-ranked nationally depending on which publication is read, then ousted Gonzaga Prep 2-0 in the title game.
Puyallup advances to a state semifinal this Friday in Richland against Woodinville at 1 p.m.
Three seasons ago, Puyallup also was ranked No. 1 in the state. And the Vikings faced unranked Edmonds-Woodway in the first round at regionals.
The Warriors succeeded that day, upsetting Puyallup in extra innings.
“We got them back then,” Edmonds-Woodway coach Dan Somoza said. “This time, they got us. But we were just right there.”
The only run of the second semifinal game came in the bottom of the fourth inning, after a one-out error by Edmonds-Woodway (17-9) allowed Puyallup’s Quinn Rawson to reach first base. Rawson advanced to second on a wild pitch from Warriors starter Tate Budnick. Budnick got Darian Clemens to fly out for the second out. But Tyler McDowell then chopped a single over Budnick’s head and into center field.
Rawson scored without a throw to the plate.
That was all Puyallup’s Lane Griffin needed, though the Vikings starter had to wiggle out of a one-out, bases-loaded mess in the top of the sixth to preserve the win.
“We knew it was going to be tough,” Puyallup coach Marc Wiese said. “Budnick pitched really well. We have a ton of confidence in Griffin.”
Griffin got Marc Campagnaro to fly out to short left field, not allowing Chance Justice to attempt to score from third, then struck out Brett Stoneman to end the threat.
“We just couldn’t get that clutch hit,” Somoza said. “Baseball is just a tough game.”
The Vikings (23-0) had to sweat through an equally tough title matchup to earn their trip east.
Puyallup scored twice in the top of the fifth against Gonzaga Prep, getting just two hits in the inning, to support the efforts of Oregon State-bound senior starter Zach Heimlich, who scored the winning run after his leadoff double.
Heimlich threw a complete-game three-hitter.