The four regular-season games between the Coeur d’Alene and Lake City baseball teams weren’t decided until the latter innings. The fact that extra innings were needed Monday to determine which team’s postseason remained alive didn’t surprise either team.
Coeur d’Alene sophomore Alex Reyes’ bases-loaded sacrifice fly provided the winning run as the Vikings knocked off the Timberwolves 7-6 in nine innings in a 5A Region I loser-out opener at CdA.
The Vikings (18-6), co-Inland Empire League champs with Lewiston, travel to Lewiston (15-7) Wednesday to decide the regional title at 5 p.m. The winner advances to state, but the loser can still earn a state berth in a play-in game Saturday at Lewiston against the District III fourth-place team.
LC, state runner-up last year, ends its season at 16-8 despite having beaten CdA three out of five times.
“It’s a spot everyone wants to be in,” Reyes said of his game-winning moment. “He threw me a first-pitch fastball and I just hit away. In that situation you can’t swing at anything else. We went 2-3 (against LC), but we got the one that counted.”
“A sophomore kid coming through like that; you don’t see that very often,” CdA coach Brian Holgate said. “Up and down the lineup it seemed like everybody contributed. It seemed like it was his turn.”
A pair of LC errors allowed two Viks to reach base in the final inning. With one out and CdA runners on first and third base, LC coach Cory Bridges decided to intentionally walk Jake Hall to set up a force play at any base.
Reyes didn’t prolong the drama, lining a fastball from relief pitcher Alex Capaul to center field, easily scoring Travis Georgius. LC appealed that Georgius left third base before the catch, but the umpire closest to the base in the three-man playoff crew overruled the appeal.
The game was filled with potential game-deciding moments for both teams.
CdA took a 3-0 lead in the second inning off LC starter Beck Roan on a two-run single by Trevor Leaf and a run-scoring hit by Nic Duman.
Roan found his groove thereafter, limiting the Viks to one more run and four hits before Capaul came in to start the seventh.
LC wiped away CdA’s momentum in the fourth when the Timberwolves scored all six of their runs.
The T-Wolves’ first two runs came when Georgius, CdA’s third baseman, overthrew catcher Logan Wadsworth after fielding a chopper 10 feet onto the grass with the bases loaded. LC’s next two runs came on a wild pitch and a single by K.C. McDonald before Cory Kreighbaum knocked in the final two with a home run to straightaway center.
After pulling within 6-4 in the fourth, the Viks forced extra innings when they scored two runs off Capaul. Both runs scored on Kody Winter’s single.
Bridges second-guessed himself afterward.
“I wished I had left the starter (Roan) in,” Bridges said. “I thought a fresh arm that could bring it would be the right answer. I thought it was the right call. Beck threw a helluva game.”
Kreighbaum, who injured his throwing shoulder while making a diving catch to preserve LC’s 3-1 win over CdA on April 21, returned after missing the final six regular-season games, four of which were losses after a 14-3 start. He provided a much-needed spark Monday.
“He’s a great player,” Bridges said. “It definitely re-charged our offense.”
CdA right fielder Max Lyons, who came into the season with a tender throwing arm, threw out an LC player at the plate for a rare double play, stopping a scoring threat in the eighth.
“Before the game he told me he was going to throw somebody out,” Holgate said, smiling.
Holgate isn’t sure who will throw Wednesday. He’s just pleased his team is guaranteed at least two more games.
“It’s been a tough couple of years here,” said Holgate, whose team’s win Monday was its seventh straight. “These guys hung in there all year long – listening to me yelling and screaming and begging them to play. And they responded.”
•No. 2 seed Post Falls used a seven-run third inning to defeat No. 3 seed Lakeland 12-7 in a 4A Region I first-round game at Post Falls.
Bobby Kuber led the third-inning charge for the Trojans (14-10) with a three-run home run. Cody Brubaker added an RBI double in the inning, then put the game away with a grand slam, his 10th homer of the season, in the fifth. David Carlile hit a solo home run in the fourth for the Eagles (6-15).
Monday’s other first-round game between Sandpoint and Moscow was rained out. The teams will play today at 4 in Moscow, with the winner playing Post Falls for the Region I championship Wednesday. The loser will face Lakeland in a loser-out contest.
Both Kellogg teams dominated the 3A District I championship at Pinehurst Golf Course.
The Wildcat boys, led by medalist Derek Jarvey’s 1-under 71, won by 71 strokes over second-place Bonners Ferry, which defeated Priest River in a one-hole playoff for the final state tournament team berth.
Carter Wardwell and Kyle Finlay, also from Kellogg, earned individual berths by finishing in the top five, as did Bonners Ferry’s Taylor Garbutt and St. Maries’ Kyle Sexton.
The Wildcats girls also cruised into state, defeating St. Maries by 95 strokes. Sue James earned medalist honors with an 89, defeating teammate Amber Coberly by 12 strokes.
Dana Arrenhuis (St. Maries), Erin Robinett (Kellogg) and Shelby Hatfield (Priest River) also earned individual berths.
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