The Sideline

Justin Jacobs drilled a walk-off single in the bottom of the seventh inning to give Auburn Riverside a 1-0 win over Bellarmine Prep this afternoon in the district playoffs, ending the Lions’ season.

With runners on second and third and two outs, Jacobs drilled a 1-0 pitch deep off Bellarmine starter Harry Stenberg into the right field corner to plate pinch runner Aaron Nguyen from second base. That was the lone big mistake for Stenberg, who allowed the lone run on six hits, with five walks and seven strikeouts in going the distance.

The Lions threatened to break through in the first two innings, as Brandon Thompson walked with two outs in the first, George Foley singled and the duo advanced to second and third on a wild pitch. But Ravens starter Noah Freelund retired Michael Ota on a grounder to escape unharmed. Andrew Patubo led off the second with a walk and John Bjork reached on an error a batter later with just one out, but Freelund again escaped by striking out Paul Huiras and getting Nathan Heath to ground out.

Stenberg, meanwhile, escaped a second-and-third threat with just one out in the bottom of the third by striking out Austin Marty for the second time in the game, while Ota came up with a brilliant diving catch on Kevin Thomson’s foul pop-up to end the inning. Daniel Casanova reached third with one out in the fourth, but Stenberg struck out Gavin Hettinger and Michael Robinson to again keep the game scoreless.

The Lions threatened again in the top of the seventh, as Patubo walked and advanced to second when Matthew Jacobsen was hit by a pitch with two outs. But reliever Brady Cummings got Heath to ground out to first, allowing for the heroics in the bottom half.

Bellarmine Prep will send a singles player and a doubles team to the 4A district tennis meet, while Stadium also will send a doubles pair to districts next weekend after their good results at the Narrows League Meet at the University of Puget Sound on May 3-4.

Senior Veena Ivengar will represent the Lions in the singles tournament after making it all the way to the finals, where she fell 6-1, 6-0 to South Kitsap Kaitlyn Skjonsby. Ivengar earned the second seed to districts, where she will face Auburn’s Aly Siemion – the seventh seed from the SPSL – on May 17 at 9 a.m. The 4A district meet will take place on May 17-18 at the Capitol City Court Club in Olympia.

Joining Ivengar from Bellarmine Prep will be the duo of Lions seniors Kennedy Takehara and Lucy Meske, who defeated Stadium seniors Katie Cribb and Emily Bower 7-5, 6-2 to win the third seed. They will take on Jefferson’s Toni Mullen and Rileigh Qualls on May 17 at 10:30 a.m. Lions seniors Kelly Titus and Meesha Sundarum are the first alternates to the district doubles tournament.

Cribb and Bower, meanwhile, earned the fourth seed to districts and will take on Kentridge’s Kyana Esber and Katie Ly on May 17 at 9:30 a.m.

For full 4A district tennis brackets go to

As a follow-up to our recent story on the Wilson at Lincoln tennis match (May 3 issue), Abes sophomores Lily Le and Miriam Cabrera teamed up to win the doubles title at the 3A Narrows Tennis Tournament at the University of Puget Sound on May 2-4.

The duo beat Timberline’s number one doubles team of Caitlyn Snyder and Staci Harris 6-2, 6-0 in the finals to earn the number one seed to the West Central District tournament on May 11 and May 18 at the Sprinker Recreation Center. Le and Cabrera had fallen to Snyder and Harris when the teams met in the regular season.

They had defeated the Blazers’ Christina and Catherina Ed 6-0, 6-1 in the first round, beat Wilson’s May Luu and Young Cho 6-2, 6-2 in the second round and topped Shelton’s Rebecca Dickson and Desirae Klokkevold 6-3, 7-5 in the semis to make the finals. Lincoln senior teammate Julie Nguyen earned the second alternate to the district meet in the singles competition.

Meanwhile, Wilson seniors Alexa Blackman and Brenda Luu earned the fourth seed to districts after falling 10-4, 10-12, 7-10 to Shelton’s Meghan Ranney and Yemas Ly in the third-place match.

After being no-hit by Reno starter Randall Delgado for five innings, the Tacoma Rainiers put up six runs in their final three innings this afternoon to beat the Aces 7-4. The big blow was a two-out, two-run homer by center fielder Corey Patterson in the bottom of the seventh, putting the Rainiers up 5-3 and proving to be the game winner.

Shortstop Nick Franklin had hit a booming double to left field to continue the inning and bring up Patterson, who was making his first appearance for Tacoma this season after arriving from extended spring training in Arizona.

Franklin was the catalyst all day at the top of the lineup for the Rainiers, walking and scoring their first run in the fourth inning, and doubling to start a two-run, game-tying rally in the sixth. He finished 2-for-3 with two doubles and three runs scored.

Rainiers starter Andrew Carraway, meanwhile, overcame a rocky start in which he gave up a two-run homer to the Aces’ Matt Davidson in the first inning for a quick 2-0 deficit. But he shut Reno down the rest of the way, allowing just three runs in seven innings, with one walk and two strikeouts to pick up the win.

Trailing 3-1 in the bottom of the sixth, left fielder Stefen Romero plated Franklin with a single into left, and later came around to score on Mike Zunino’s sacrifice fly to tie it up. Patterson then blasted the game winner way over the right field wall in the seventh, and Carlos Peguero launched an opposite field two-run homer into the Rainiers’ bullpen for some insurance in the eighth inning. Brian Moran came on to pitch a scoreless eighth for the Rainiers, while Danny Farquhar gave up a run in closing it out in the ninth.

The Rainiers closed out their home stand with a 7-1 record, as they remain in first place with a 21-11 overall record.

The Wilson Rams took advantage of some wildness from Shelton starting pitcher Jared Welander in both the fifth and seventh innings and held on to beat the High Climbers 10-6 on Thursday afternoon at the Narrows 3A tournament in Lacey.

Welander would last six and one-third innings on the afternoon, walking 12 hitters in the process. Wilson starter Jared Horner survived a rocky start of his own in the first inning, walking the first two hitters while an infield error loaded the bases with nobody out. But Horner and the Rams survived, giving up only one run in the inning.

The Rams’ offense, meanwhile, could manage only two hits off Welander until the fifth, when the Shelton southpaw’s control went south. Welander walked six hitters in the inning and when the damage was through, the Rams managed to scratch out five runs for a 6-1 lead. Horner’s control would deceive him in the bottom half of the fifth, giving up four runs to trim the lead to 6-5.

But Wilson would close it out in the seventh, scoring four times with Cameron Ficca’s two-run double down the left field line being the key strike. Evan Stout relieved Horner with one out in the seventh to get the final two outs and preserve the win for the Rams.

“We gutted this one out,” said Wilson head coach Doug Rupe. “The guys fought hard, especially Horner, who did not have his best stuff today but made the big pitches when he had to.”

The win claimed the third seed to districts for the Rams, as they will play on Tuesday afternoon at 4 p.m. at Heidelberg Field in Tacoma.

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