PASCO — After a bizarre double play that took six throws to finally complete and end the game, O’Dea coach Mike Doyle was nearly speechless.
“I’m shellshocked,” Doyle said after his team advanced to the 3A state title game with a 4-3 win over Mount Spokane. “It’s kind of unbelievable. I’m not really sure what happened.”
O’Dea (24-2) will play Bonney Lake, a 12-3 winner over Shorewood, for the title at 7 p.m.
The Irish led 4-1 entering the bottom of the seventh inning when Mount Spokane (20-6) mounted a furious rally with singles by Jordan Fitzpatrick and Blake McDonald to open the inning. Drew Rasmussen then doubled home two runs to cut the lead to one run.
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After a walk and a sacrifice bunt put the tying run at third and the winning run at second with one out, relief pitcher Marques Carlson fielded a squibber back to the mound. He got the out at first and things got bizarre when the Mount Spokane runner at second arrived at third only to find it occupied.
Six throws later, with every single infielder and the catcher involved, O’Dea had a game-ending double play when Carlson ran down a runner between third and home.
It was the last mistake for Mount Spokane, who had six fielding errors in the game and lost despite outhitting O’Dea, 9-6.
“You definitely have to feel fortunate,” Doyle said. “We were fortunate to have the guys in the right place on that play. There was such a flurry of stuff that happened I yelled more commands on the last play than I did in the entire game.”
The key play on the game-ending play was made by Connor O’Brien, who is headed to Oregon State. The senior catcher dug a bad throw out of the dirt and then made a perfect throw to second baseman Ryland Kerr to keep the play alive.
Doyle wasn’t ready to say such a run of Irish luck would make his a team of destiny.
“That’s a big word,” Doyle said. “You’d like to think so, but destiny can be flipped with a single ground ball. You just have to give yourself as many opportunities as you can to be successful.”
Shorewood (20-3) built an early 3-0 lead but gave up six walks, three hits and an error in the second inning to help Bonney Lake score 10 runs against three pitchers.
Bonney Lake (16-10) was led by Taiki Green, who had a double and a triple, three hits, three RBI and three runs scored. The Panthers had only seven hits in the game, but took advantage of seven Shorewood walks.
Cory Burill started and went four innings with four strikeouts while allowing only two hits to pick up the win for Bonney Lake. Taylor Graham came on in relief and allowed only one hit with three strikeouts in the final three innings.
Shorewood, which hadn’t given up more than five runs in any single game this season, will play Mount Spokane (20-6) for third place at 1 p.m.