After an extra day of tiebreaker games, the Kamiak baseball team is headed to the postseason for the first time in six years.
Kamiak and Mount Vernon emerged from a three-team playoff Monday at Kamiak High School to earn Wesco 4A’s final two postseason berths.
The Knights beat Glacier Peak 1-0 in the third of three three-inning tiebreaker contests to claim the league’s fifth and final spot in the Class 4A Wes-King Bi-District Tournament.
It marks Kamiak’s first postseason berth since 2013.
“Ultimately, that was their goal at the beginning of the year,” Knights coach Kevin Agnew said. “They wrote two things down: They wanted to get into the district playoffs, and they wanted to get the respect of their opponent. And I think they’ve done both those things this year. It’s huge. I’m proud of them.”
In the deciding third tiebreaker mini-game, Kamiak’s Ethan Norris reached base on a Glacier Peak error in the bottom of the first inning. Later in the frame, freshman Sanha Oh drove in Norris on a two-out single for the game’s lone run.
“He’s been money for us all year,” Agnew said. “… (That) was a huge hit.”
Kamiak sophomore Alec Harshaw tossed three scoreless innings in the victory, and the Knights (6-13) played strong defense behind him to keep Glacier Peak off the board.
“(We had) a handful of great defensive plays that the kids stepped up and made today, and they did it when the most was on the line,” Agnew said. “It was pretty cool to watch.”
In the first tiebreaker game of the afternoon, Reilly Olmsted pitched three scoreless innings to help Mount Vernon secure a postseason berth with a 1-0 win over Glacier Peak. Erik McGehee drove in the game’s lone run for the Bulldogs (9-11) on a first-inning single.
Mount Vernon then defeated Kamiak 3-0 in the second tiebreaker contest to claim the league’s No. 4 seed. Olmsted had a run-scoring double and pitched three more scoreless innings in the game, totaling six innings of no-run ball in the Bulldogs’ two tiebreaker victories.
The first two results set up the decisive third tiebreaker contest between Kamiak and Glacier Peak. The Knights entered that game on the heels of a 2-1 loss to Monroe last Friday and the tiebreaker loss to Mount Vernon just moments earlier, but rebounded to beat the Grizzlies (9-13) for the postseason-clinching victory.
“Our guys could’ve easily given up after either of those (losses, but) they battled through,” Agnew said. “… They took it on their shoulders and came right back and played one of the best games they’ve played all year.”
Wesco 4A has five berths to this year’s new 12-team bi-district tournament with KingCo 4A. Mount Vernon, Kamiak and Glacier Peak finished the regular season in a three-way tie for fourth place in Wesco 4A with 4-8 conference records. Because all three teams went 1-1 against one another in league play, a three-way tiebreaker was needed to determine the conference’s final two postseason spots.
A numerical tiebreaker draw prior to the school year determined seeding among the three teams for Monday’s tiebreaker games.
The 4A Wes-King Bi-District Tournament begins with Thursday’s play-in round, followed by Saturday’s quarterfinals.