Tuesday was a big day for Timberlake High’s baseball team.
Big hits on a big field and one really big 3A District I championship – the program’s first-ever.
The Tigers (20-3) started slow but poured it on in the late innings to outlast a game Lakeland squad 10-5 at Post Falls High School and earn a berth in the 3A state tournament May 20 at Treasure Valley Community College in Ontario, Ore. In loser-out District I action Tuesday, Kellogg (13-12) stayed alive with a 5-0 victory over Priest River (11-13) at Lakeland.
The Hawks (13-11) square off with Kellogg at PFHS in another loser-out affair today at 4. The winner of that game travels to Orofino to face District III’s runner-up Saturday at noon with the final state berth on the line.
Senior-laden Timberlake, which graduates 10 in June, belted four triples and an inside-the-park homer at PFHS field No. 2, which features a center-field fence estimated at 600 feet from home plate.
Tigers shortstop Marshal Huffman, who had a crucial three-run triple in the bottom of the fifth inning that broke a 2-2 tie, talked about his big hit and what the victory meant to him and his teammates.
“I was thinking that I didn’t want to strike out, and that I just needed to get the bat on the ball,” the right-hand batting Huffman said of his opposite-field shot off Lakeland starter Ryan Stewart. “I fanned against this guy the first time I faced him, and a pop-fly to the outfield would have even been enough to score a run.
“This win is awesome and it means a lot – growing up with these guys and playing together all four years … it just means a lot to all of us seniors.”
The overwhelming theme of camaraderie continued with center fielder Korey Kreider who went 2 for 4 with a triple and scored twice for Timberlake.
“We just put everything together as seniors, and we’ve been working together since we were freshmen,” Kreider said. “And it means so much more because all of us are friends.
“We were a little shaky at first, but then we got our bats going and we showed who we are.”
The Tigers got on the board first in the second inning when senior Matt Barnhouse tripled with two outs and scored on senior Matt Barnhouse’s flare to shallow center.
Lakeland answered with two runs in the third on an RBI triple by leadoff man Lance Carr and a sacrifice fly by junior shortstop David Carlile, who was named the Intermountain League MVP after the game.
Timberlake tied it at 2 an inning later when senior second baseman Scott Frintz hit a soft liner to left to bring in Travis Lazoran, who scored from second, sliding in just ahead of the relay.
In the fifth, a single, a hit-batsman and an error loaded the bases to set up Huffman’s big blast. Lazoran and Barnhouse added run-scoring hits in the inning.
Lakeland battled back with three in the sixth, senior Kyle Reese doing most of the damage with a two-run double he one-hopped off the left-field fence, chasing Tigers starter Bobby Miller. Senior Josh Lander put out the Hawks’ fire, however.
The Tigers got those three runs right back in the bottom of the inning, Kreider leading off with a triple and Matt Douglas following with a double before Alex Fraser hit a two-run, inside-the-parker to deep center.
Tigers named to the All-IML team after the game were Kreider, his brother Kim, Huffman, Fraser and Lander. Corey Sweeney was also named for the Hawks.
• In Kellogg’s victory, Seth Foley pitched a three-hit shutout, striking out seven. . He also went 3 for 3 at the plate and drove in all three runs.
• Cody Brewbaker (6-1) struck out 10 and pitched a two-hitter to lift Post Falls past visiting Moscow (4-18) in a loser-out opener of the 4A Region I tournament. Mike Markevich of the Trojans (11-13) had a two-run double in the first. PF will play at top-seeded Sandpoint (11-12) at 4 p.m. Thursday. The winner will qualify for state and the loser will move on to a state play-in game.
• The 5A Region I tourney opener featuring No. 3 Coeur d’Alene (10-12) at No.2 Lewiston (18-6) in a loser-out game was rained out. The game will be played at 5 p.m. today. The winner will travel to No. 1 Lake City (18-6) to decide the regional championship at 4 p.m. Thursday.
Wallace’s David Kilbourne shot a 10-over-par 80 to earn individual honors during the boys 2A District I-II tournament at Orofino Golf and Country Club. Kilbourne, with a back nine of 38, edged Clark Fork’s Nathan Allen by one shot. Third-place Dustin Christensen of Wallace carded an 84. Wallace shot a 370 to defeated Clark Fork by 21 strokes. Both teams qualified for state. Wallace’s Cara Hayman won the girls title with a 107, five shots better than Sophie Salamina of Post Falls Christian.
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