CHEHALIS – The Hudson’s Bay baseball team’s final game Saturday had a season’s worth of ups and downs.
After his Eagles fell to White River 6-5 in 11 innings in the first round of the Class 2A state playoffs, coach Greg Peavey wanted his players not just to remember this season’s triumphs.
He also hoped they’d remember how they handled the tough times.
“There were so many opportunities when we could have cashed it in,” Peavey said. “They chose otherwise. They chose to persevere, work together and come together as a family. They should really be proud of that.”
A roller-coaster season saw the Eagles earn their first state playoff berth since 2006 despite being the No. 4 seed out of the 2A Greater St. Helens League.
After winning two loser-out games at the district tournament, the Eagles entered Saturday’s regional pod at W.F. West High School as the No. 11 seed.
For most of Saturday’s game, Hudson’s Bay had No. 6 seed White River on the ropes.
Starting pitcher Chanz Flores was excellent. He struck out 12 and walked just one before leaving the mound after six innings with a 3-1 lead.
But the Hornets forced extra innings with two runs in the bottom of the seventh. Jackson Rock’s one-out double tied the game 3-3 before Hudson’s Bay brought in pitcher Sebastian Laddusaw to keep the winning run stranded.
Hudson’s Bay scored twice in the top of the 11th. Cameran Nicklas had an RBI groundout with the bases loaded, then purposely got caught in a rundown allowing Shay Bradley to score from third.
But White River (17-4) had one final rally. After two batters were hit to start the inning, Rock cut the lead to 5-4 with a two-out RBI single. Ty Jacobs followed with a double down the left field line to score Rock from first with the winning run.
That brought the Eagles’ season to an end at 15-7. The program’s eight seniors walked off the field for the final time, then shared hugs with each other and the coaching staff behind the first-base dugout.
Those seniors have undoubtedly left the program better than when they arrived.
“That was the message when they were juniors and sophomores, that I want you to make this place better by the time you leave,” Peavey said. “They did just that. I’m honored to be their coach.”
Elias Estrada went 3 for 6 and tallied the Eagles’ first two runs. He scored on Flores’ RBI single in the first, then gave Hudson’s Bay a 2-0 lead when he came home on a wild pitch in the third.
Flores consistently worked out of trouble thanks to timely strikeouts. He stranded two runners in the fourth, then limited White River to one run in the fifth after the Hornets led off the inning with back-to-back doubles.
Hudson’s Bay went ahead 3-1 in the sixth inning on a one-out double by Alex Haloulos Younts to score Laddusaw.
Instead of dwelling on how close the Eagles came to reaching the state quarterfinals, Peavy hopes Saturday’s experience motivates the next class of Hudson’s Bay baseball players.
“I’m hoping they’re hungry to work,” Peavey said. “They get a taste of what it feels to be here. Now they’ve got to put in the work to get us back here in the future.”
WHITE RIVER 6, HUDSON’S BAY 5, 11 INNINGS
Hudson’s Bay 101 001 000 02—5 9 1
White River 000 100 200 03—6 11 5
Pitching – Chanz Flores 6 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 12 K, 1 BB; Elias Estrada 0.1 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 K, 1 BB; Sebastian Laddusaw 4.1 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 6 K, 3 BB. Highlights – Elias Estrada 3-6, 2 R, 2B, 2 SB; Chanz Flores 2-4, RBI; Alex Haloulos Younts 1-4, RBI, 2B; Walker Laddusaw 1-5, R, 2 SB; Shay Bradley 1-5, R, 2B, SB; Cameran Nicklas 1-5, RBI, SB.
Pitching – Finn Still 6.1 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 7 K, 3 BB; Aaden Rathbun 4.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 4 K, 0 BB. Highlights – Dalton Lembo 2-6, R; Jackson Rock 3-4, R, 2 RBI; 2B; Ty Jacobs 1-5, 2 RBI, 2B; Ty Rogers 2-5, 2B; Titan Seibert 2-5, RBI, 2B; Zach Long 1-4, 3B.