STATE BASEBALL: Cd’A, Lakeland and Timberlake battle-tested

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The Coeur d’Alene Vikings started out 8-2, then struggled through a 4-7 record in the competitive 5A Inland Empire League, where all four teams beat each other at least once.

That earned them a No. 4 seed in the four-team Region 1 tournament. After losing in walk-off fashion at No. 1 seed and eventual regional champion Lewiston, the Vikings bounced back with three wins away from home in five days, including two true road wins, to make it back to state for the first time since 2014.

“The ups and downs of this season, whether it be pitch count (violation), or guys going down with injuries, these guys figure out a way to get it done,” second-year Coeur d’Alene coach Nick Mahin said.

Coeur d’Alene (15-10) opens vs. District 3 champion Rocky Mountain (19-5) tonight at 6:15 p.m. PDT at Borah High’s Wigle Field. Coeur d’Alene beat Rocky 5-4 and 3-2 on March 24 in Lewiston.

“The good news for us is, we’ve seen them,” Mahin said. “We definitely match up well against each other.”

The Vikings are led by their six seniors, five of which are planning to play at Big Bend Community College in Moses Lake next year — Thomas Robinson, Jackson Sumner, Kallen Langley, Trevor Luckey and Cameron Luckey.

“We’re confident; we’re going down there battle-tested,” Mahin said.

4A

Last year, Lakeland was an unusual 1-and-out at the state tournament. The Hawks lost their state opener, then headed for home after the losers bracket was subsequently rained out.

The Hawks (11-8) have a deeper run planned this year, beginning today with a 3 p.m. opener vs. Skyline (15-13) of Idaho Falls at Bishop Kelly High in Boise.

“I’m excited for the state tournament. I think that if we play our game, then we’re as good as anybody in the state,” Lakeland coach Jason Bradbury said. “We’ve put together some really good quality games this year. We’re a fun team to watch when we play like that.”

Lakeland is at state for the sixth time in eight seasons and eighth time overall under Bradbury, in his 14th season.

“Last year, both through the high school and Legion seasons, we learned that we can play with anyone,” Bradbury said. “These kids have played a lot of ball together and have seen it all. I like their mentality because nothing seems to scare them. I am hoping that this continues down at state and that they can get off the bus with a little swagger and confidence, knowing they can compete and beat anybody. I truly believe that’s true with this group.”

Middleton (17-9) is the defending champion.

3A

After missing out last season, the Timberlake Tigers are back at state for the fifth time in six seasons, under first-year head coach Cameron Knigge.

“We had nine games rained out,” said Knigge, a Tigers assistant for five seasons, before taking over this year. “With as crazy as a season as we’ve had, with all the rainouts we’ve had, I couldn’t be happier with this group of kids.”

Timberlake (7-9) opens the state 3A tournament today at 3 p.m. PDT vs. Sugar-Salem (19-4) at Treasure Valley Community College in Ontario, Ore.

Timberlake upset Intermountain League champion Bonners Ferry to win the 3A District 1-2 title, and head to state with a quiet confidence.

“We have a saying on back of our shirts — ‘There is more lightning in the fist than thunder in the mouth,’” Knigge said. “You can talk all you want, but you’ve got to back it up.”

Fruitland (19-3) is the defending champion.

STATE TOURNAMENT SCHEDULES

Times PDT

5A

At Borah and Capital high schools, Boise

Thursday, May 18

At Borah

9 a.m. — Game 1, Madison (14-10) vs. Timberline (19-7)

Noon — Game 2, Lewiston (18-6) vs. Capital (17-7)

3 p.m. — Game 3, Bonneville (21-7) vs. Columbia (11-16)

6 — Game 4, Rocky Mountain (19-5) vs. Coeur d’Alene (15-10)

Friday, May 19

At Capital

11 a.m. — Game 5, Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2, loser out

4 p.m. — Game 6, Loser Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4, loser out

At Borah

Noon — Game 7, Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2, semifinal

5 p.m. — Game 8, Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4, semifinal

Saturday, May 20

At Capital

9 a.m. — Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 6, for consolation title

1 p.m. — Loser Game 7 vs. Loser Game 8, for third place

At Borah

Championship

5 p.m. — Winner Game 7 vs. Winner Game 8

4A

At Bishop Kelly High, Boise

Thursday, May 18

9 a.m. — Game 1, Idaho Falls (18-9) vs. Vallivue (15-12)

Noon — Game 2, Skyview (23-3) vs. Jerome (13-13)

3 p.m. — Game 3, Lakeland (11-8) vs. Skyline (15-13)

6 — Game 4, Twin Falls (24-3) vs. Middleton (17-9)

Friday, May 19

9 a.m. — Game 5, Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2, loser out

Noon — Game 6, Loser Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4, loser out

3 p.m. — Game 7, Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2, semifinal

6 — Game 8, Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4, semifinal

Saturday, May 20

9 a.m. — Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 6, for consolation title

Noon — Loser Game 7 vs. Loser Game 8, for third place

3 p.m. — Winner Game 7 vs. Winner Game 8, championship

3A

At Treasure Valley Community College, Ontario, Ore.

Thursday, May 18

9 a.m. — Game 1, Teton vs. Bonners Ferry (18-3)

Noon — Game 2, Kimberly (18-4) vs. Payette (15-11)

3 p.m. — Game 3, Timberlake (7-9) vs. Sugar-Salem (19-4)

6 — Game 4, Marsh Valley (16-7) vs. Fruitland (19-3)

Friday, May 19

9 a.m. — Game 5, Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2, loser out

Noon — Game 6, Loser Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4, loser out

3 p.m. — Game 7, Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2, semifinal

6 — Game 8, Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4, semifinal

Saturday, May 20

9 a.m. — Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 6, for consolation title

Noon — Loser Game 7 vs. Loser Game 8, for third place

3 p.m. — Winner Game 7 vs. Winner Game 8, championship

2A

At Melaleuca Field, Idaho Falls

Thursday, May 18

9 a.m. — Game 1, New Plymouth (14-13) vs. Malad

11:45 — Game 2, Grangeville (11-10) vs. Melba (16-7)

2:30 p.m. — Game 3, Bear Lake vs. Nampa Christian (16-9)

6 — Game 4, Challis vs. Declo (11-10)

Friday, May 19

9 a.m. — Game 5, Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2, loser out

11:45 — Game 6, Loser Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4, loser out

2:30 p.m. — Game 7, Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2, semifinal

6 — Game 8, Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4, semifinal

Saturday, May 20

9 a.m. — Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 6, for consolation title

11:45 — Loser Game 7 vs. Loser Game 8, for third place

2:30 p.m. — Winner Game 7 vs. Winner Game 8, championship

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