The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Jaryd Cline
Sports editor 

Seventh inning rally falls short as Wolves eliminated from district tourney


Jaryd Cline

Second baseman Mitch bane lays down the tag on a Royal trying to steal second during Friday's district contest in Goldendale. Catcher Dylan Denning threw out two Royal runners trying to steal second in the game.

Going into the last inning of Friday's South Central Athletic Conference District Tournament elimination game in Goldendale with the Wolves trailing the Royal Knights by three runs, it looked like the home team was going to strike for another late-game rally to keep its season alive.

Down 5-2 to start the bottom of the seventh, Goldendale got something started with two outs after Jacob Bischoff scored on Alex Mains' single, cutting their deficit to 5-3 with two outs and the tying run in Justin Wells coming to the plate.

For a split second it looked like the rally would continue after Wells smacked a hard-hit ground ball back up the middle. But Royal's pitcher was able to get a glove on it, changing the direction of the ball and sending it to the second baseman, who picked it up and fired quickly to first to get the sliding Wells by just a few inches, ending Goldendale's season while the Knights advanced further into the district tourney.

"It's a game of inches and those were some inches that didn't play into our favor," Goldendale head coach Ann Cochran said.

The Knights came to Goldendale after falling in the opening round of the district tournament, which started May 8.

Goldendale dropped its opening district game on the road in Connell 7-3 in a tough game where the Eagles were able to capitalize on 10 Goldendale walks. Connell picked up five of its runs off of those walks.

On Friday in Goldendale, senior Alex Mains came out dealing on the mound, facing and retiring all six batters in the first two innings.

But in the top of the third, the Knights went up 4-0 without recording a hit in the inning.

The Timberwolves got two back in the fourth after senior Jacob Bischoff singled home John DeMott. Bischoff took home on a passed ball later that inning, and Goldendale cut its deficit to 4-2.

Mains continued to pitch well on the mound, and senior catcher Dylan Denning easily threw out two Royal runners attempting to steal second, and all Goldendale needed was its bats to come alive.

With a recent knack for coming through in the clutch, Goldendale needed a late rally if it was to keep its season alive. The Timberwolves offense was retired in order in both the fifth and sixth innings, and after the Knights tacked on another run in the top half of the seventh, they had just three outs left to get at least three runs on the scoreboard.

Bischoff came through again in the clutch with a one-out single that dropped just beyond the shortstop, and moved to third on senior Mitch Bane's groundout. With two outs, there wasn't anyone else in the league you would rather have up than Mains, who delivered with a base hit to center, scoring Bischoff and making it a 5-3 game with the tying run in Wells coming up and Denning on deck.

Jaryd Cline

Senior Dylan Denning gets ready to take a cut during Friday's game against Royal. Denning was one of three Goldendale players to be named to the SCAC All League team, earning first-team honors for his work at, and behind the plate as catcher.

The rest is history though, as Royal's pitcher made a good play to slow Wells' hard-hit ball and get the sliding senior at first by a fraction of a second.

Even though they entered the seventh down three runs, there almost was a sense that they would find a way to get those runs in and escape with another incredible comeback win.

"They never gave up until the last out was made," Cochran said of this year's group.

Her group will look a little different next year, with the graduation of 11 seniors from the team, the majority having played all four years with the program. Cochran and the coaching staff had been around this year's senior class for years and knew all too well their skills on the diamond, but were more excited about what comes next for the group of 11.

"The biggest thing I can say about them is they're a really decent group of kids," Cochran said. "They're going to go out and do good things."


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