By Mason Kelley
Seattle Times staff reporter
PASCO — Eastside Catholic had been here before. In Saturday’s Class 3A title game, the walkoff warriors were in position for one more miraculous finish in a season full of them.
Trailing by a run in the bottom of the seventh, the Crusaders had runners on first and second with two outs. Senior shortstop Jeff Bohling, who delivered two walkoff home runs in the Metro League tournament, was at the plate against Kamiakin sophomore David Marshall.
“We were in the right spot,” first-year coach Kyle Larsen said.
Eighth-ranked Eastside Catholic had been in this situation so many times, everyone in the Crusaders’ dugout expected one more walkoff win. But with the game hanging in the balance, Marshall dialed up one final strikeout, sealing the Braves’ 3-2 victory at Gesa Stadium.
“The guys battled all day,” Larsen said. “It was a great game. My hat’s off to them (Kamiakin). They played an outstanding game. We were in the right spot, the magic just kind of ran out a little bit today.”
In their first trip to the state-title game, the Crusaders (19-7) played with poise. They didn’t get rattled when Kamiakin right fielder Johnny Jansen drove in a run in the second inning. They didn’t panic when they fell behind 2-0 in the third.
Senior Braden Wolgamott sparked Eastside Catholic’s offense in the bottom of the third, driving in a run with a two-out double off the wall in left field. Then freshman Addison Hull led off the fifth with a single. He scored from first on a throwing error after T.J. Murphy tried to move him to second with a sacrifice bunt.
But with the game tied in the top of the seventh, Kamiakin’s Logan Jackson delivered the go-ahead run with a two-out single.
“It hurts really bad getting this far and not winning, but I’m proud of the team,” Wolgamott said. “It’s something to be really proud of.”
Marshall struck out 11 during a complete-game, five-hitter for the No. 9 Braves (19-9). He out-dueled Crusaders starter Blake Gillespie, who also pitched a gem, retiring nine in a row at one point.
“It’s tough,” Larsen said. “Right now it stings a lot to come this far and fall that close, but I just told them to keep their heads up, because they accomplished a lot this year. The school’s never even been to the semifinals, let alone the championship game. They should be very proud.”