In a few instances this spring, wins haven’t come easy for the Mountain View baseball team.
Case in point was Tuesday’s 3A Greater St. Helens League game against Evergreen.
The Thunder (5-9, 5-6) led by as many as three runs in the later innings, only to watch as the Plainsmen twice rallied to tie and extend the game. Not to mention, the marathon game went to extra innings, had two separate delays for rain and hail storms and ultimately lasted four hours.
But the end result, a 15-10 Mountain View win finished off in the 11th inning, said something else about this Thunder team, in their words: they won’t quit.
“No matter how many times you play, no matter how many times you go on the field, you’re going to keep playing,” Mountain View’s Lucas Wolfley said. “There has to be a winner. We just wanted it badly. We wanted it to be us, so we found that drive.”
“We’re never going to quit, no matter how scary, how long it is, how wet (the field) is, we’re here for each other,” Mountain View’s Nathan Wadleigh added. “We’re not going to quit.”
Wadleigh provided the knockout blow in the top of the 11th inning when he drove in three runs on a double to break an 8-8 tie. By the end of the frame, the Thunder held a commanding 15-8 lead with four more runs scored.
Wolfley pitched the final six innings to relieve starter Michael Gordon and finished with three strikeouts, including the final out of the game in the bottom of the 11th. Wolfley also hit a go-ahead, two-run single in the 10th inning to put the Thunder up 8-6.
In the bottom half of the inning, Mountain View was one out away from ending the game when Evergreen hit a ground ball up the middle of the infield. The Thunder committed an error on the throw to first, allowing Evergreen’s Hayden Blanford to score the game-tying run.
“Mistakes happen, but you just got to push through them,” Wadleigh said. “It’s no one’s fault, you don’t blame anyone when it happens. You just keep pushing through.”
Mountain View showed no ill effects when going up to bat in the 11th. The Thunder picked up two walks, before Gordon dropped a bunt single to load the bases and set up Wadleigh’s three-run double.
The Thunder added four more runs via walks and twice getting hit by pitches with the bases loaded.
“In the dugout, our coaches were telling us the whole time we got to stay with our teammates, and our mentality is, we’re family,” Wolfley said. “These are our brothers right here, and we have to stay with them.”
Mountain View’s Brady Sale, JJ Thompson, Jett Hamilton and Jacob Martin each had two hits, with Martin contributing three RBI.
Trevin Livingston led Evergreen (7-6, 6-2) with three hits, Will Goth hit two doubles, Jayden Crace had two hits with an RBI and Cole Robinson had a team-high two RBI. The Plainsmen currently sit in first place of the 3A GSHL ahead of Kelso and Prairie, which are tied for second place.
After Evergreen took the first of a three-game series Monday against Mountain View, the rubber match will be played on Thursday at Evergreen. For Mountain View, the reigning league champion, it will be an opportunity to keep momentum rolling after Tuesday’s marathon outing.
“I think after a four-hour game, coming out on the winning side is a breath of relief,” Wolfley said. “We worked hard throughout the entire thing. I think we earned it.”