By Don Nelson
The Liberty Bell High School baseball team’s stay in the state tournament lasted more than a day, but not in the way the Mountain Lions had hoped.
Liberty Bell traveled to Gonzaga Prep in Spokane on Saturday (May 21) to face Asotin, the No. 1 seed from District 7/9. A win would have earned the Mountain Lions another game, and a chance to move on to the state finals this weekend in Centralia.
But Liberty Bell lost to Asotin, 15-4 — on Sunday. A game that goes extra days, not just extra innings, takes some explaining.
The Saturday game in Spokane was delayed by rain in the fourth inning, and could not resume.
“Instead, the game was moved to Yakima on Sunday, a decision that was made after some hours waiting in the rain, first on the field and later on the bus,” coach Michael Wilbur said. “We ended up driving to Ellensburg on Saturday, staying in a hotel for a second straight night and then finishing up the drive to Yakima in the morning. Our guys hung in there and made the best of it.”
It ended up being a long two days for the Mountain Lions.
“We got behind early, in large part due to some shaky defense,” Wilbur said. “We struggled to catch and throw the ball all day, and they did a great job of keeping the pressure on, particularly on the base paths.”
Cole Darwood scored two runs, Jacob McMillan had two hits, Finlay Holston had a hit and two RBIs, Derek Alumbaugh had one hit and an RBI and Sam Thomsen had a sacrifice fly, Wilbur said.
“We didn’t play our best game and it is always tough to see a season come to the end,” Wilbur said. “Jacob McMillan, Gavin Wengerd and Sam Thomsen all played their last games as Mountain Lions, and we will miss them. They were all talented players and excellent teammates. Although we lose some strong players, our younger guys are going to work hard to be able to step up and contribute next year.”
The Mountain Lions made their third consecutive trip to the state championships this season. Last year, they lost to Napavine, 8-1, in the first regional game and were out of the tournament.
Asotin beat Brewster, 4-2, and moves on to the state finals this weekend.