Mountlake Terrace’s Griffin Potter grabs Rominic Quiban after Quiban stole home for the eventual winning run against Shorewood in a Wesco 3A District 1 semifinal on Tuesday, May 9, 2023, at Funko Field in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Mountlake Terrace’s Griffin Potter grabs Rominic Quiban after Quiban stole home for the eventual winning run against Shorewood in a Wesco 3A District 1 semifinal on Tuesday, May 9, 2023, at Funko Field in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Steal of home in 7th propels Mountlake Terrace to state berth

Rominic Quiban swipes the game-winning run as the Hawks top Shorewood 6-5 in the district semifinals to clinch a state berth.

EVERETT — Rominic Quiban and Mountlake Terrace High School baseball coach Ryan Sells picked up on a tell late in a deadlocked district semifinal matchup with Shorewood.

The Hawks’ senior, who was standing on third base in the top of the seventh inning representing the go-ahead run, and his manager just needed to find the right time to take advantage.

The opportunity came and Quiban sprinted down the third-base line and successfully swiped home to put his team on top.

Quiban’s steal of home capped a three-run seventh inning and ninth-seeded Mountlake Terrace rallied for a 6-5 victory over fifth-seeded Shorewood in a winner-to-state Class 3A District 1 tournament semifinal battle Tuesday at Funko Field.

Terrace (15-9) advanced to the district title game at 1 p.m. Saturday and will face second-seeded Edmonds-Woodway. The Hawks also qualified for their second consecutive state tournament.

“It’s been a fun ride so far and I’m happy that it isn’t going to stop anytime soon,” Sells said.

Mountlake Terrace begins celebrating a one-run victory over Shorewood in a Wesco 3A District 1 semifinal on Tuesday, May 9, 2023, at Funko Field in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Mountlake Terrace begins celebrating a one-run victory over Shorewood in a Wesco 3A District 1 semifinal on Tuesday, May 9, 2023, at Funko Field in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Shorewood (15-7) falls to the consolation bracket and will host 10th-seeded Stanwood in a winner-to-state game 4 p.m. Thursday.

Quiban’s steal came inbetween pitches as the Stormrays’ catcher lobbed the ball back to his pitcher. The soft toss allowed the senior just enough time to make the dash for home.

“It’s something we don’t work on,” Sells said of the winning play. “It’s something we saw and we just took advantage of it.”

Quiban also plated the tying runs after a two-hopper was misplayed at first base and allowed a pair to score earlier in the frame.

The rally came after the Stormrays pushed across five in the sixth after spending most of the day being locked down by Terrace starter Dayton Nickolson. The junior right-hander took a two-hit shutout into the sixth inning and had thrown just 55 pitches through the first five frames.

Shorewood loaded the bases in the sixth after an error, a single and a four-pitch walk and Noah Fahey blistered a single into right-center that plated all three runs after a misplay in right field. Kanata Barber followed with an RBI single and Joey Facilla tacked on one more with a sac fly as the Stormrays sent 10 batters to the plate in the sixth.

Shorewood players come out to celebrate with Blake Gettmann after he scored the tying run against Mountlake Terrace in a Wesco 3A District 1 semifinal on Tuesday, May 9, 2023, at Funko Field in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Shorewood players come out to celebrate with Blake Gettmann after he scored the tying run against Mountlake Terrace in a Wesco 3A District 1 semifinal on Tuesday, May 9, 2023, at Funko Field in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

“We got punched in the mouth in the bottom of the sixth,” Sells said, “but we never gave up. We never gave up and that’s why it’s a 6-5 ballgame. So very, very happy (and) very proud of my guys and my coaching staff.”

The Hawks opened up the scoring in the top of the first after Ryan Sturgill reached on a hit by pitch, Talan Zenk singled and Bede Breese’s one-out fly ball to right field was dropped and allowed two runs to score.

Terrace made it 3-0 in the fourth on Tyler Shankle’s triple to deep center field and Griffin Potter’s sharp single to follow.

Nickolson went 5.1 innings, struck out one and allowed five runs, three earned, on five hits and five walks. Robert Swan picked up the win with 1.2 scoreless innings of relief. Sturgill reached base three times and Zenk had two hits, a walk and two stolen bases.

Mountlake Terrace’s Talan Zenk hits a single through the infield against Shorewood in a Wesco 3A District 1 semifinal on Tuesday, May 9, 2023, at Funko Field in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Mountlake Terrace’s Talan Zenk hits a single through the infield against Shorewood in a Wesco 3A District 1 semifinal on Tuesday, May 9, 2023, at Funko Field in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Shorewood starter Blake Gettmann allowed three runs, two earned, over four innings on three hits and a walk. Barber had three hits and a stolen base and Isaac Van Horn and Gettmann each reached base twice.

The victory continued an improbable run for the ninth-seeded Hawks, who had to win a pair of loser-out contests to reach a quarterfinal bout with top-seeded Snohomish. Terrace upset the Panthers on Saturday and knocked off a higher-seeded team for the third consecutive game Tuesday.

“We knew we would do whatever we could to get to this point,” Quiban said. “Seeding is just a number. It’s just about how hard the team plays.”

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