Sparts sacrifice Rams, make 3A tourney

Spartan shortstop Zach Peach fields and fires during recent diamond action. The squad advances to the state tournament. - JESSE BEALS/Staff Photo
Spartan shortstop Zach Peach fields and fires during recent diamond action. The squad advances to the state tournament.
— image credit: JESSE BEALS/Staff Photo

Jordan Schager scattered six hits to mute the Ingraham attack in a 6-3 win.

It took an extra day, but the Spartan baseball team finally made it to the 3A state tournament.

A 6-3 come-from-behind victory over the streaking Ingraham Rams at Lower Woodland Field not only qualifies them for the big dance after a five-year drought, it puts them in the finals of the league tournament for the first time since entering Metro play.

They’ll face Eastside Catholic today at Lower Woodland Field at 3 p.m. for the championship. Spartan ace C.J. Hall will get the start against Crusader hurler Pat Lloid.

Head coach Jayson Gore was glad his team could overcome the deficit and prevail.

“It’s a heck of an accomplishment by this team to come this far, and we’ve earned it,” he said. “But we’re not satisfied. We want to prove we can come out and win (the championship).”

The Spartans got on the board in the first inning as Hall singled in Robbie Stevenson with two outs. The Rams countered with two in their half-inning off starter Jordan Schager, as he walked two and gave up two doubles.

Bainbridge tied it back up in the second as they used a fake bunt to advance Blake Jensen and Josh Truan, then Zach Peach hit a sacrifice fly to score Jensen.

After a 35-minute rain delay, both pitchers settled down and the teams traded goose eggs until the sixth, when the Spartans took the lead back.

Ram reliever Kumar Caughey walked the first two Spartan batters, then Gore called for another fake bunt as they pulled off a double steal.

Peach hit another sacrifice fly to score a run, then after David Lantz hit into a fielder’s choice, Matt Frazee singled to score another run.

Ingraham got another run back in their half of the sixth to cut it to 4-3, but Bainbridge Island scored two insurance runs in the seventh to keep them in the lead for good.

Truan was hit on the elbow with a pitch, then advanced to second on a balk. After Michael Heald struck out, Peach worked the count to 3-0, then got the green light and proceeded to rip one down the third base line to score Truan.

David Lantz walked, then Stevenson singled to score Peach.

Schager took just five pitches to retire the Rams in the seventh and slam the door shut for the win. He gave up just six hits the entire game, striking out four and walking three.

The win will give Bainbridge Island much-needed momentum going into today. Gore feels it will help his team be more relaxed on the field.

“It took a lot of pressure off us,” he said. “Now we can go out and play loose. We’ll throw the dust up out there and see where it settles.”

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