By Debbie Raney
At the top of the seventh inning in the 3A state championship baseball game, the Burns Hilanders had a four-run lead over the Westside Christian Eagles. They needed three outs to claim their second state title in as many years.
Burns got their first two outs on plays from shortstop Caleb Feist to Steven Attleberger at first. The Eagles added another run to make the score 11-8, and had one man on first from a walk. Up to bat was Austin Layton, the Eagles’ second baseman. Layton nailed a line drive to centerfield. With the sun setting behind the backstop, conditions were not optimal for Hilander right fielder Trevor Smith to see the hit, get under the ball and make the out. He did it anyway. With a stretching catch, Smith ended the game, and the Hilanders brought home another 3A state championship.
As the song goes, “And the crowd goes wild.”
The Eagles got the first run of the game, in the opening inning, but Westside’s one-run lead going into the bottom of the first didn’t hold out very long. Feist was the first Hilander at bat, and on the first pitch from Chris Mueller, he hit a double. The next four Burns players — Garrett Swisher, Tommy Ghost Dog, Logan Garner and Drew Heinz — got on base with singles; and Dallon Swindlehurst took a walk. They would all score for a 6-1 lead going into the second inning.
Over the next three innings, Burns kept the Eagles from scoring, while upping their total to nine runs. Matt Ogata and Feist scored in the third with Jorey Fritts recording an RBI, and Swindlehurst scored in the fourth on an Ogata single.
The Eagles didn’t go down easily. At the top of the fifth, with one out, the Eagles hit two singles and two doubles, scoring four runs. Heinz fielded a ball for the second out, and Feist got under a pop-up for out number-three. The Hilanders took the field in the bottom of the fifth with a 9-5 lead.
Second to bat, Ghost Dog hit a double that he would score on when Heinz singled two batters later. At the top of the sixth, Burns was up by five runs, 10-5.
The Eagles scored two runs on three hits as the sixth got under way. With two outs, Westside had the bases loaded, and had the opportunity to tie the score. Shortstop Josh Britton hit a fly to Swisher, and he made the inning-ending out.
The Hilanders’ final run was scored by Ogata on a Feist single down the left-field line. The seventh inning began with Burns leading 11-7.
Smith’s catch for the final out in the top of the seventh ended the game and the season with the Hilanders taking the OSAA state championship. Ghost Dog was selected as the Hilanders’ Qwest Player of the Game.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 final
Bur 6 0 2 1 1 1 x 11
WSC 1 0 0 0 4 2 1 8
AB R H RBI BB SO PO A
Feist 4 2 2 1 0 0 2 4
Swisher 5 1 1 0 0 1 4 2
Ghost Dog 4 2 2 2 0 1 0 0
Garner 2 1 0 1 1 0 0 1
Heinz 3 1 2 0 1 0 1 0
Fritts 4 0 0 0 0 2 0 0
hurst 3 1 1 1 1 0 5 1
Stampke 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 Ogata 3 2 3 3 1 0 1 0
Smith 2 0 0 0 2 0 1 0
Attleberger 0 0 0 0 0 0 7 0
IP-7 H-9 R-8 ER-5 BB-6 SO-6 WP-0 BK-0 HP-1 IBB-0 AB30 BF-38 FO-8 GO-6 NP-148