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Prairie gives up 19 hits to Gig Harbor in 12-4 loss to open 3A bi-district baseball playoffs

Falcons dig themselves early 5-0 deficit, now face loser-out game Wednesday

By Will Denner, Columbian staff writer
Published: May 9, 2023, 9:56pm

Prairie rolled into the postseason with momentum after winning the 3A Greater St. Helens League baseball title and a shared belief it had the potential for a deep run.

Against the red-hot bats of Gig Harbor, however, the Falcons were hard pressed to stem the Tides.

In a rematch of a game won by Prairie one month prior, Gig Harbor claimed a 12-4 win at Evergreen High School on Tuesday to open Class 3A bi-districts behind 19 hits and an early five-run inning that forced Prairie to play catch up.

“We’ve played them before. They hit it really well,” Prairie head coach Tanner Bogart said. “We had to come from behind, but we’re used to playing behind a couple times (this season). We did find ways back, and then they responded when we responded, so I think we just ran out of innings to come back and play.”

12 Photos
Prairie senior Dylan Gaylor, right, throws the ball to first baseTuesday, May 9, 2023, during the Falcons’ 12-4 loss to Gig Harbor in a 3A bi-district playoff game at the Evergreen Athletic Annex.
Baseball: Gig Harbor at Prairie Photo Gallery

The Tides (10-10) clinched a berth in the Class 3A state tournament, while the Falcons (13-9) will play a loser-out game against Auburn on Wednesday — the first of two games they’ll need to win this week in order to secure a state bid.

“Playoff baseball, it doesn’t matter what seed you are, how good or bad of a regular season (you had), everyone is ready to play,” Bogart said. “They just played a little bit better than us today, but we’ll be ready tomorrow.”

A nightmarish second inning for Prairie marked the beginning of Gig Harbor’s successful day at the plate.

Lead-off hitter Cooper McCutcheon provided a base-hit RBI for the Tides’ first run of the game, before Brady Altman added an RBI double and Josh Dunham provided a sacrifice fly to score Altman.

Later, with Prairie needing one out to stop the damage, Chase Pringle’s high fly ball to right field was lost in the sun allowing the Tides to add another run and put the Falcons in a quick 5-0 hole.

To their credit, the Falcons’ response was swift.

Colby Majewski cracked a solo home run on the first pitch of the bottom second. Jackson Upton added a double, which led to pinch runner Camden McCray adding a second run on an error at first base.

“It’s great senior leadership,” Bogart said. “Colby has stepped up when it mattered most for us this year. … It was a good start for us.”

Prairie got as close as two runs in the fourth inning when Brayden Petrowski got on base with a bunt single, then proceeded to reach third base on a pair of wild pitches and score on a throwing error.

But the Falcons’ comeback hopes took a hit soon after when Gig Harbor’s number eight and nine batters, Jayce Corley and Hunter Payne, provided back-to-back singles and a hit batter loaded the bases.

Altman followed with a two-run single and Dunham added a sacrifice fly to give Gig Harbor a commanding 9-4 lead.

Prairie starting pitcher Brady Trombello went five innings with three strikeouts, one walk, 11 hits and eight earned runs allowed.

Sophomore Isaac Watson is expected to get the start for Prairie’s game against Auburn on Wednesday, Bogart said.

“He’s been great all year for us, and we’ll just play it by ear and see who’s next man up,” Bogart said.


G. Harbor 050 131 2—12 19 3

Prairie 021 100 0—4 7 1

Gig Harbor

Pitching — Garrick Cosmos 6 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 0 K, 3 BB; Ryan Vorpahl 1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 2 K, 1 BB; Highlights — Cooper McCutcheon 2-3, 3 R, RBI; Brady Altman 2-4, 2B, 1 R, 3 RBI; Josh Dunham 2-2, 1 R, 2 RBI; Ryland Heckman 4-5, 2B, 2 R, RBI; Chase Pringle 2-5, RBI; Cole Krilich 1-5, RBI; Nick Lang 1-4; Jayce Corley 3-3, 2 R; Hunter Payne 2-4, 2 R.


Pitching — Brady Trombello 5 IP, 11 H, 8 ER, 3 K, 1 BB; Camden Hern 2 IP, 8 H, 3 ER, 0 K, 0 BB; Highlights — Dominick Vigue 1-3, 1 R; Isaac Watson 2-4; Trombello 1-2, 2B, RBI; Colby Majewski 1-4, HR, RBI; Jackson Upton 1-3, 2B; Brayden Petrowski 1-3, 1 R; Jake Drogos RBI.