PUYALLUP — Six hours might sound like a long wait, but not for Skyview’s baseball team.
They waited three days to lock up a 4A state berth, so an extra six hours in-between games Saturday to determine their seed to state was nothing.
A convincing 8-1 victory over Kentridge to secure another trip to state made that long wait a little sweeter.
And so did breakout offensive performances by Griffin Sissel and Ryan Pitts, who combined to go 4 for 8 with three extra-base hits, and perhaps Alex Miller’s best outing on the mound this spring with a complete-game six hitter. He took a four-hit shutout into the seventh.
Skyview won its seeding game, beating South Kitsap 7-4. The Storm will face Inglemoor of Kentmore in the Everett regional.
Against the Chargers on Saturday morning at Heritage Park, the fifth inning proved to be the difference maker. Leading 1-0, Skyview batted around and scored five runs off Kentridge starter Mike Callia. A fielder’s choice by Michael Lundgren and head-up base-stealing by Lundgren and Daniel Copeland — who stole home — made it a 3-0 lead.
That set up Pitts, the No. 5 hole hitter, whose 3-run shot to left was his first home run of the season made it a 6-0 advantage. Pitts said teammates got on his case — in a friendly way — all spring about only seeing his home run power during batting-practice sessions.
“You can’t really brag when you do it at practice,” said Pitts, who went 2 for 4 with thee RBIs. “I guess now it’s good to brag a little bit now that I’ve actually hit one in a game.”
Sissel’s led off the inning with a double, and added a sliding triple in the sixth. He later scored as part of the Storm’s two-run inning that increased the lead to 8-0. The pair of extra-base hits Saturday was a welcoming sight for the senior, who missed much of 2017 after breaking his leg sliding into second base.
Like Pitts’ home run, the triple is Sissel’s first of the spring. He finished 2 for 4 with a pair of runs scored.
“It’s definitely a It’s fun to share that moment with them,” Sissel said. And share a big game with them.
Of Skyview’s 11 hits, Liam Kerr and Max Rose also had two hits apiece as the team’s other multi-hit performers.
That six-run lead after five innings proved to be all the run support Miller needed. Through five, Miller sat at just 55 pitches and the only hits allowed came in the fourth. That inning, Kentridge had two hits and had its best chance to score before plating its run run in the seventh. The Chargers loaded the bases off Miller only for the senior to get Trent Jackson to fly out to end the inning.
Skyview’s defense also turned two double plays.
Normally calm and relaxed before starts, Miller also turned to music pre-game to prepare for his biggest start to date. The high stakes played a part in what he called his best outing of the season.
“And we needed a playoff win to state to state,” he said.
In the seeding game, Michael Lundgren went 4 for 4 with three runs as the Storm scored three runs in the first and second inning to take a 6-2 lead.
Daniel Copeland had two doubles in three at-bats for the Storm.
SKYVIEW 8, KENTRIDGE 1
Skyview 0 1 0 0 5 2 0 — 8 11 1
Kentridge 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 — 1 6 1
Pitching: Alex Miller 7 IP (W), 6 H, 4 K. Highlights — Liam Kerr 2-3; Griffin Sissel 2-4, 2 R; Ryan Pitts 2-4, 3-run HR, 3 RBI; Max Rose 2-3, 2 R, RBI; Carter Hill 1-4, RBI; Daniel Copeland 1-4, R; Noah Guyette 1-4, R, RBI.
Pitching: Mike Callia 4.2 IP (L), 8 H, 6 ER, 2 K; Ian McIntosh 1.1 IP, 1 H, 1 K; Severin Antone 1.2 IP, 2 H, 2 K.