For the Skyview Storm, their league finale felt like a playoff game.
And why not given the win-or-go-home playoff berth at stake Monday at Propstra Stadium.
So was Skyview’s 2-0 shutout of Camas to clinch the 4A Greater St. Helens League’s final playoff spot the Storm’s best performance of the year?
“Yes,” senior catcher Tyler Howard said, “but we’re not done. We’re going to have a lot more performances like this.”
And the Storm are hopeful that means a long playoff run, too. Skyview (12-7) earned the league’s third playoff spot to finalize the 4A GSHL’s playoff berths. Camas (13-6) clinched the 4A Greater St. Helens League title last week during its three-game sweep of Union, and is the league’s No. 1. It hosts either Curtis or Sumner at 3 p.m. Saturday to open bi-districts. Battle Ground and Skyview, the Nos. 2 and 3 seeds respectively, also play Saturday in loser-out bi-district games.
Monday, Tyler Davis threw six-plus innings of three-hit baseball and Seth Minor drove in both of the Storm’s early runs behind two extra-base hits for a 2-0 lead. Brendan Bowyer pitched a scoreless seventh inning in relief, getting a strikeout with runners at the corners to preserve the win.
Minor said Skyview’s adrenaline was high given its backs against the wall, and the Storm’s performance reflected that.
“It comes from us knowing that we have a lot of confidence in ourselves,” the outfielder said. “Overall, our chemistry on the team is really tight-knit and that’s what really drives us. We wanted to go to the playoffs and this game was a statement game for us.”
Monday’s game between Camas and Skyview was a makeup game from April 21. That game was postponed after Skyview alleged Camas junior-varsity players used racist language at the teams’ JV contest April 20 at Camas High School. A week-long investigation concluded last week with Camas telling Skyview that while it didn’t verify all allegations, it did acknowledge JV players engaged in “racial microaggressions” at the April 20 JV game.
In a letter to Skyview, Camas officials apologized and said it planned to “restore relationships and build a path forward.”
That path forward began Monday. During the pregame meeting at home plate, team captains from Camas and Skyview came together to shake hands and acknowledged healing and sportsmanship.
The gesture was a mutual decision by both schools.
“We understand mistakes happen,” Minor said, “but we wanted both teams to show respect for each other.”
And also bring respect to baseball, Howard added.
“It’s tough emotionally,” he said, “but it’s nice to play baseball.”
Howard and Minor accounted for four of Skyview’s six hits, and Minor’s RBIs in the first and third innings gave Davis an early cushion in a swift 1-hour, 20-minute game. One week ago, he threw a complete-game four hitter in a 4-1 win over Battle Ground, and having early run support is something he’s had all season as Skyview looks toward the playoffs.
“That feels great,” Davis said. “It helps get your confidence up. It’s huge.”
Tyler Stewart went 2 for 3 to lead the Papermakers.
SKYVIEW 2, CAMAS 0
Camas 000 000 0—0 4 0
Skyview 101 000 0—2 6 0
Pitching — Max Fraser 3 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 4 K, 2 BB; Hubbell 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 K, 0 BB; Highlights — Holt Williams 1-3; Max Fraser 1-3; Tyler Stewart 2-3.
Pitching — Tyler Davis 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 4 K, 1 BB; Brendan Bowyer 1 Ip, 1 H, 0 R, 2 K, 1 BB; Highlights — Tyler Howard 2-2; Seth Minor 2-3, 2 RBI, 3B, 2B; Caden Spanier 1-3; Josh Kophs 1-1.