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Warriors fall in 1B state tournament

by IAN BIVONA
Sports Reporter | May 24, 2023 1:20 AM

MOSES LAKE — A five-run top of the second inning was enough for Naselle to defeat Almira/Coulee-Hartline in the second round of the 1B State Baseball Tournament on Saturday, leaving Larson Playfield with a 5-3 win over the Warriors.

ACH added three runs of its own in the bottom of the third, but couldn’t add on any additional runs over the final four innings.

“With the young team like we have, you see us get down 5-0, it’s easy to go ‘Well, it’s over,’” ACH Assistant Coach Mike Correia said. “It’s the second inning. You’ve just got to keep believing and keep fighting. You can’t take anything away from our guys; they competed. It just didn’t happen.”

Three of Naselle’s first four batters were walked in the top of the second inning, and a bases-loaded walk added the first Comet run of the day. Naselle scored another run off an error two at-bats later, and a three-RBI single gave the Comets a 5-0 lead.

“Not taking anything away from (Naselle), it just comes down to making plays,” Correia said. “We had an unfortunate bad hop, and then a ball that’s caught 99% of the time isn’t (caught) – all of a sudden that’s the ballgame, and you’re fighting against that the rest of the game.”

The Warriors got back into the game in the bottom of the third, loading the bases after junior John Pierce and freshman Caden Correia reached on errors, and sophomore Grayson Beal was walked. With the bases loaded, eighth-grader Max Grindy and sophomore Carter Pitts were walked to score runs on back-to-back at-bats, and Beal scored on a sacrifice fly by junior Jaxon Baergen.

ACH recorded four more hits over the final four innings, but couldn’t take advantage of the runners on base and fell 5-3 to Naselle.

The Warriors, who are mostly underclassmen, will graduate the following seniors off this year’s roster: Jim Holcomb, Cody Allsbrook and Tristen Wood.

“I think the biggest thing for (the underclassmen) to understand is, for the seniors, there’s no tomorrow,” Correia said. “As a younger classmen, it’s easy to think ‘Oh, we’ve got next year.’ I think they need to understand the sense of urgency for the year, but also from game to game, play to play.”

Ian Bivona can be reached via email at ibivona@columbiabasinherald.com.

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Ian Bivona

ACH sophomore Grayson Beal sprints home to score on a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the third inning against Naselle.

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Ian Bivona

ACH junior Jaxon Baergen dives toward a fly ball in the outfield during the top of the fourth inning against Naselle.