The Freeman Scotties came from behind to take a one-run lead over Deer Park in the bottom of the fifth inning Wednesday and then fireballer McKabe Cottrell struck out the final six batters he faced to preserve the 4-3 victory.
Freeman (18-3) advances to play at noon Saturday at home against Medical Lake, which beat Lakeside 5-2 on Wednesday. Lakeside and Deer Park also play Saturday at Freeman. The winner of the Freeman-Medical Lake game advances as the District 7 1A top seed to state in Moses Lake. The Freeman-Medical Lake loser advances to state in Yakima, as will the winner between Lakeside and Deer Park.
“Hats off to Deer Park. They competed well,” Freeman coach Chad Ripke said. “Every hit found a hole for them early. But our guys gutted it out and got a win. I’m proud of our guys.”
Deer Park pitcher Kooper Tobeck threw a complete game and struck out seven. His defense also tracked down several line-drive smashes to keep Deer Park (12-10) in the game.
“We hit the ball well until Cottrell came in,” Deer Park coach Tanner Knutson said. “But Cottrell came in and killed us.”
Cottrell, a junior who is headed to Gonzaga University, pitched four innings and struck out nine of the 12 batters he faced.
“At the 1A level, he’s a legitimate Division I kid,” Ripke said. “We’ve got the guys to make a deep run.”
The scoring started on a bizarre play in the top of the first inning. A Deer Park runner attempted to steal second base and fell down in the base path. As the defense reacted, a second runner, Tobeck, broke for home from third base and an errant throw allowed him to score.
The Stags then opened the second inning with three consecutive base hits to load the bases. Trevor Amann grounded out to score a second run for a 2-0 lead.
The Stags scratched out another run in the third inning after Brandon Moore singled off Freeman starter Desmond Parisotto. Moore later scored on an error to make it 3-0 Deer Park.
Freeman’s Keegan Cottrell smashed a double to open the bottom of the third inning and he later scored on a wild pitch. Jack Paukert’s sacrifice pulled the Scotties within 3-2.
The scored remained the same until the bottom of the fifth when Keegan Cottrell again led off with a hit for the No. 1 ranked 1A team in the state. Older brother McKabe Cottrell followed with a single. Simon Rooney later walked with the bases loaded to tie the game and Koby Kent’s RBI groundout plated the winning run.
“Our guys battled ,” Ripke said. “They’ve got bull’s-eyes on their backs. Everybody wants to knock us off. But they found a way to win.”
Medical Lake rolls
Cardinals’ hurler Cory Wagner pitched a complete game and struck out 10 batters in the 5-2 win Wednesday over the Lakeside Eagles (13-9).
The only runs Wagner gave up on the day came from a two-run home run by Lakeside’s Tristan Cox in the second inning.
Trailing 2-1 in the fifth inning, the Cardinals (17-3) exploded for four runs. Three runs came on a bases-loaded double by Tyler Munden. Wagner also helped his own cause with a double, a single and an RBI. Cole Soliday went two-for-two with a run scored on the day.
The win gives the Cardinals one more shot at Freeman. The teams split the series earlier in the year.
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