Auburn Mountainview pitcher Shawn Guinn limped around the field after the game, an ice pack bulging from his back pocket. He had pitched so...
PASCO — Auburn Mountainview pitcher Shawn Guinn limped around the field after the game, an ice pack bulging from his back pocket.
He had pitched so well, but in the bottom of the seventh inning he took a line drive off his hip, and now he had to deal with the pain.
It was the story of his season: Bruised, but not broken.
Guinn pitched six stellar innings in leading Auburn Mountainview (26-3) to a 7-1 win against West Seattle (21-6) in the Class 3A state championship game. It’s the first state title in the eight-year history of the Mountainview baseball program.
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“I’m perfectly fine with it,” Guinn said. “It’s a war scar, a battle scar.”
It was only a month ago that Guinn, a senior, approached coach Glen Walker and asked if there was someone else he might want to start instead because Guinn seemed to be the only pitcher losing.
But in a team meeting the night before the state-championship game, Walker asked Guinn if he was ready to go. Guinn said he was.
He dazzled in his best outing of the season. He gave up just five hits — only two in the first six innings. He had a no-hitter through four innings and struck out five.
In a game that was low scoring much of the way, Guinn’s work proved even more important.
“He’d struggled, and he’d questioned himself,” Walker said. “But clearly he’s a guy that we need. We had a feeling that he was going to give us a great opportunity, and he was clearly the right choice.”
Guinn also got plenty of help later in the game.
Mason Cerrillo drove in the game’s first run in the fourth inning after Kekoa Nahaku and Jeffrey Morgan reached on singles. Cerrillo hit a dribbler to first base and just beat the diving first baseman to the bag.
Morgan added another run in the fifth with a sacrifice fly, then Mountainview took control in the sixth.
Tyler Friis delivered the biggest blow in the four-run sixth with a two-RBI single.
West Seattle was also hungry for its first baseball title.
The Wildcats stirred in the bottom of the seventh by loading the bases, but only got one run out of it as Joey Cassano closed the game in relief of Guinn.
“You want to win this game so bad because you get so few chances to do it,” said West Seattle coach Velko Vitalich, whose group advanced farther than any in school history. “But the accomplishments of this team are amazing.”
The same can be said for Mountainview, which won just three games in its first season under Walker eight years ago but now has a state championship.
“I’m just amazed right now,” Guinn said. “The whole season this team has shown a lot of heart. To end it like this, no better way.”
Kennewick 6, Mount Si 1
Mount Si’s season ended with a loss, but first-year coach Zach Habben said that didn’t sour his debut season.
“We came out and played hard all year and unfortunately we didn’t come out as well as we had this weekend,” Habben said. “But these guys still battled, and they never gave up. It’s been a great season as a first-year coach.”
Mount Si managed just three hits against Kennewick pitcher Clayten Ayres, who pitched a complete game and had a no-hitter through four innings before Zach Usselman’s double in the fifth. Joe Done followed immediately with an RBI single that got the Wildcats on the board.
Connor Swift started for Mount Si and gave up three earned runs in six innings.
Ayres pitched a complete game for Kennewick.
Mount Si finished third in KingCo 3A in the regular season and lost the final three games of April, but the Wildcats clinched a spot at state by winning the KingCo 3A tournament.
“Everything just started clicking,” Habben said. “Pitching, defense, getting those timely hits, which unfortunately we weren’t able to do this weekend. We all came together as a team.”