Tahoma eliminated by Heritage in opener

They were picked to finished fifth in the South Puget Sound League North Division, yet managed to advance to state for a third straight year.

  • Monday, June 2, 2008 12:16pm
  • Sports

They were picked to finished fifth in the South Puget Sound League North Division, yet managed to advance to state for a third straight year.

That didn’t make Saturday’s outcome at Heidelberg Park in Tacoma any easier to swallow for the Tahoma High baseball team.

Looking to move once again into the Elite Eight, the Bears squandered a late lead and fell 4-3 to upstart Heritage in eight innings in the opening round of the Class 4A state playoffs.

“We were one strike away from winning that game,” lamented Tahoma coach Russ Hayden. “It’s a hard pill for me to swallow – we had that game.”

Indeed, the Bears did.

Tahoma (16-7) clung to a 3-1 lead with two outs and two Heritage runners on base in the bottom of seventh inning, but couldn’t get it done. Heritage’s Mike McDonald, facing a 2-2 count, tied the game at 3-3 with a single up the middle, scoring Ian Miller and Michael Blake.

In the eighth, Heritage’s Miller delivered a weakly-hit single between shortstop and third, scoring Kyle Grissom and sealing Tahoma’s fate.

“It was one of those seeing-eye hits,” Hayden said, “but in the right spot.”

Tahoma took a 2-1 lead into the fourth inning on an RBI ground out by Jerad Casper, scoring Thomas Hammett. The Bears pushed their lead to 3-1 in the fifth on an RBI single from Bryce Niemi, scoring Chris Marangon.

After that, however, Tahoma’s offense went south. Heritage pitcher Miller managed just two strikeouts through the game’s first five innings, then collected five more during the final three.

“I think the pressure just got to (us),” Hayden said.

Marangon struck out nine Heritage batters in five innings of work and added a pair of hits at the plate. Kyle Conwell also delivered with the bat, going 3 for 4.

But in the end, Tahoma simply couldn’t keep Heritage’s Miller and Blake, the team’s No. 2 and 3 hitters, off the bases. They combined for eight of Heritage’s 12 hits.

Despite the loss, Hayden remained impressed by a group from which not that much was expected.

“The kids battled. I admire that,” he said. “I told them, they have nothing to hang their heads about. They were picked to finish fifth in the league and they got four, five playoff games in.”

Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@covingtonreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.covingtonreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Sports

A come-from-behind 5-4 victory over the Victoria Royals gave the Vancouver Giants their second win in a row Tuesday night, March 30, in Kamloops (Allen Douglas/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Back to the ice: Vancouver Giants resume play Sunday

Langley-based team scheduled to play three games in four days, following COVID postponement

The Mercer Island boys basketball celebrates their 61-36 victory over Interlake in the 3A KingCo championship game on Feb. 11, 2020, at Sammamish High School. File photo
WIAA pushes back return to play for prep sports

Season 2 now begins Feb. 1 and seasons have been shortened to seven weeks each.

In this file photo from March 2020, the Federal Way High School boys basketball team reacts in the final minutes of the state quarterfinals game against Mt. Si High School. File photo
New guidelines released for return of prep sports in WA

The new plan places counties and sports in three-tier systems. No signs of a quicker return to play.

File Photo/Kent Reporter
Emerald Downs increases horse racing purses

Betting up 67% over last year

Doctor IDs safety measures for youth team sports practices
Doctor IDs safety measures for youth team sports practices

Before practice begins, parents must understand COVID-19 protective protocols

Pictured: A Mercer Island High School swimmer competes in fall 2019. Washington Interscholastic Activities Association recently announced the girls swim and dive season will be moved to “Season 3,” which begins March 1. File photo
WIAA gives schools option to delay start of prep sports until December

An updated plan moves girls swimming to Season 3 and makes fall cross country an alternate season.

The Todd Beamer Titans football team in Federal Way during a 2019 summer practice. File photo
WIAA modifies prep sports calendar; football moved to spring

Washington’s high school athletics governing body announced its revised plans for the… Continue reading

WIAA delays start dates for fall sports
WIAA delays start dates for fall sports

Football practices to begin Sept. 5, all other sports planned for Sept. 7.

Emerald Downs changes opening day to June 24
Emerald Downs changes opening day to June 24

Live racing to return at Auburn track but without fans

Emerald Downs announces revised 2020 stakes schedule

Racing starts June 22; first featured race Aug. 2

Emerald Downs to open for horse racing June 22
Emerald Downs to open for horse racing June 22

No fans initially at Auburn track; fans can wager from home

FILE PHOTO, Brian Liesse, T-Birds
T-Birds issue ticket refunds, exchanges for cancelled games in Kent

17,000 tickets sold for three March contests at ShoWare Center