In more ways than one for the Auburn Mountainview High School baseball team.
A week after rallying from eight runs down to SPSL 3A rival Peninsula to win the West Central District crown, the Lions were in almost the same situation Saturday night – with a final-four state berth on the line.
And in the seventh inning, the Lions rallied for another 9-8 victory, this time over Decatur in the regional finals at Ed Wheeler Field in Centralia.
The Lions will meet Kennewick in the 3A state semifinals at GESA Stadium in Pasco on Friday afternoon.
But first, they had to survive a sixth meeting against Decatur. In fact, five of the Auburn Mountainview’s past nine games have been against the Gators.
After Decatur stunned O’Dea, 6-4, and the Lions shut out Glacier Peak, 2-0, in the earlier games Saturday, the two teams met again.
Isaiah Hatch hit two home runs as Decatur took an 8-6 lead into the bottom of the seventh inning. Starting pitcher Chris Carns, who threw 122 pitches for the Gators, gave up a leadoff double to Brice McCulloch and a single to Matt Anderson to immediately fall into trouble.
Eventually, Tyler Friis hit a two-run single up the middle to tie the game at 8-8.
“They have this mentality that nobody can beat them,” Auburn Mountainview coach Glen Walker said. “As long we have an out left, and swing left, we are not done.”
The Lions eventually loaded the bases with one out. And on the first pitch Nick Brooks saw from Hatch, who came on in relief, the SPSL 3A player of the year hit the game-winning RBI single into left center.
West Seattle 7, Bonney Lake 2: The Panthers led 1-0 early on Taiki Green’s RBI groundout in the first inning, but the Wildcats scored five times in the first two innings to win the regional championship at Dream Field in Mount Vernon.
The big blow came when West Seattle tallied four runs off reliever Cory Burrill in the second inning to take a 5-1 lead.
South Kitsap 4, Woodinville 1: The magical ride for the Narrows 4A tournament champion and West Central District runner-up continues as the Wolves won the regional title at Kent’s Memorial Field.
Starting pitcher Michael Wood limited high-scoring Woodinville to one run on six hits, striking out eight batters.
The Wolves scored twice in the first inning on a two-run double by designated hitter Tanner Paulson as South Kitsap grabbed a 2-0 lead.
The Falcons cut it to 2-1 in the second inning, but South Kitsap answered with runs in the third on Paulson’s RBI single, and the fourth on Cody Wolfe’s run-scoring single.
The Wolves will meet defending 4A champion Kentwood in a rematch of the district semifinals, won by South Kitsap in five innings.
Kentridge 6, Cascade of Everett 1: Sam Dacus threw a one-hitter in seven games, and Dumit Malacon blasted a pair of home runs as the Chargers advanced to the 4A semifinals for the first time since 1991 with a victory in the regional finals at Richland High School.
In the earlier game, Kentridge defeated the host Bombers, 10-8.
Two local teams postponed: Rain did postpone scheduled action at a couple of sites, including White River at the 2A regional in Bellingham, and Cascade Christian at the 1A regional in Anacortes.
Both schools are expected to play Sunday – with Cascade Christian playing Tenino at 10 a.m., and White River taking on Archbishop Murphy at 1 p.m.
Cascade Christian has been rescheduled for Sunday at 10 a.m. against Tenino, and the Hornets.