POST FALLS — The second-seeded Post Falls Trojans pulled off a late-game rally against the third-seeded Coeur d’Alene Vikings for the second time in four days Thursday to keep their season alive.
Chase Cripps delivered the game-winning hit for the second time in four days, a single to right field to score Quin Bennett from third base with two outs in the bottom of the 11th inning, lifting Post Falls to a 3-2 victory in the loser-out second-place game of the 5A Region 1 baseball tournament at Post Falls High.
On Monday in the first round, Post Falls beat Coeur d’Alene 3-2 with two runs in the bottom of the seventh.
“It was very similar, up to the seventh, then it was just crazy,” Post Falls coach Mick Zeller said. “Every at-bat, every pitch is just incredibly magnified. It felt like watching that World Series last year ... no lead is safe.”
Post Falls (14-11) advances to a state play-in game Saturday at 1 p.m. at Church Field in Lewiston against Borah (17-11-1) of Boise, the fifth-place finisher from District 3 (Boise area).
Coeur d’Alene, which advanced to state last year as the fourth seed at regionals and placed fourth at state, finished 14-11.
Bennett doubled to lead off the 11th, and was sacrificed to third by Matt Fleming. One out later, Nate Buer was intentionally walked, and Cripps, the No. 2 hitter, followed with another game-winning knock.
“Had a chance to get it done earlier, and wasn’t too happy about it,” Zeller said. “He definitely redeemed himself. He wasn’t seeing the ball great, hitting it great leading up to the tournament. I don’t know what clicked, maybe just seeing the ball better.”
Also for the second time in four days, Buer delivered the game-tying hit, a two-out triple in the seventh to score courtesy runner Cabe Misita.
“Him (Cripps) and Nate, their patience really helped them out this week,” Zeller said.
Noah Mayfield had two of Coeur d’Alene’s three hits, including an RBI single in the third to put the Vikings ahead 2-1.
“Baseball is a crazy game, and things did not go our way today,” Coeur d’Alene coach Nick Mahin said. “We left 11 guys on base, they make some spectacular plays ... ”
Coeur d’Alene played three straight 3-2 games at regionals.
“In this league it can go any way,” Mahin added. “I was very, very impressed with how our guys played the last three days; we played very good baseball all three days.”
Austin Higgins pitched four innings of one-hit relief with four strikeouts to get the win for Post Falls. Brock Zeller made a pair of diving catches in center field with runners on base to end innings, and Tanner McCliment-Call threw a runner out at the plate from left field in the 10th.
Coeur d’Alene 011 000 000 00 — 2 3 0
Post Falls 100 000 100 01 — 3 9 6
2 out when winning run scored.
Brady Thompson, Jayce Bailey (7) and Carter Friesz; Jacob Rutherford, Austin Higgins (8) and Nate Buer. W — Higgins. L — Bailey.
HITS: Cd’A — Bailey, Mayfield 2. PF — Buer 2, Cripps, Rutherford 2, Zeller, Bennett, Fleming, Vasquez. 2B — Mayfield, Bennett, Buer. 3B — Buer.
Bonners Ferry 5
BONNERS FERRY — Senior Will Parr pitched a no-hitter with seven strikeouts as the top-seeded Badgers beat the No. 2 seed Tigers in the championship game of the 3A District 1 tournament.
Bonners Ferry (15-5) advances to state next week at Treasure Valley Community College in Ontario, Ore. The Badgers, state runners-up last year, open Thursday at noon vs. Payette, the second-place team from District 3.
Timberlake (13-7) will play host to Priest River today at 4 p.m. for the district’s second berth to state.
Parr walked two and struggled through a 19-pitch first inning.
“He hit a batter in the first and walked a batter, and after that first inning he just settled down and threw strikes,” Bonners Ferry coach Tom Turpin said. “And he came up with three phenomenal defensive plays.”
On one of those, Parr slipped fielding an attempted sacrifice bunt, and from the seat of his pants threw the runner out at second.
Parr hit a two-run single in the second inning to open the scoring, and Jared Fess delivered a two-run double to highlight a three-run fifth.
Bonners had just four hits, but three went for extra bases.
“Two great pitchers,” Turpin said. “Jack (McDonald) pitched well; we just had some timely hits.”
Timberlake 000 000 0 — 0 0 3
Bonners Ferry 020 030 x — 5 4 1
Jack McDonald and Seth Villanpando; Will Parr and Brady Bateman. W — Parr (5-2). L — McDonald.
HITS: TL — none. BF — Brady Bateman 2, Fess, Parr. 2B — Bateman, Fess. 3B — Bateman.