Sports

Wolves post walk-off win | Baseball

The Coupeville High School baseball team, with a walk-off win, evened its league record and kept Granite Falls from moving into first place by tripping the visiting Tigers 5-4 Thursday, May 1.

Trailing 4-0, the Wolves scored three runs in the sixth and two in the seventh to sting Granite Falls (10-6, 12-7) and drop the Tigers a half game behind Archbishop Murphy atop the conference standings.

The bottom of the seventh started in dramatic fashion.

Jake Tumblin, who drove the ball to the fence for a long out in the first inning, didn't miss this time. The senior, playing in is his final home game, hit a no-doubt-about-it shot over the left field fence to tie the score at 4.

The blast ignited the crowd and the Wolves, setting up the thrilling finish.

After an out, senior Ben Etzell singled. Walks to juniors Aaron Trumbull and Josh Bayne loaded the bases. Etzell scored on a wild pitch to finish the comeback.

The Wolves scored three in the sixth after a poor offensive showing over the first five innings, according to coach Willie Smith.

Etzell got things going with a walk and moved to third on Trumbull's single. Bayne singled in Etzell and then moved to second when the throw to third to get Trumbull was late.

Cole Payne followed with "a great at bat," Smith said. Falling behind 1-2, Payne worked to a full count and lofted a sacrifice fly to right. Trumbull scored, and the throw to third to cut down Bayne got away, allowing Bayne to scurry home.

Etzell started on the mound and struck out six and gave up one hit in three and a third innings. Etzell was given the start to tune up for next week's district tournament opener and was pulled after reaching a pitch limit.

Granite Falls scored all four of its runs in the third, one off Etzell. Aaron Trumbull took over. Two errors allowed two unearned runs in the inning.

"Aaron really locked in and held them scoreless over the next three innings, scattering four hits," Smith said.

He was aided by a double play in the sixth when he struck a batter out and catcher Tumblin rifled the ball down to first to double off the baserunner.

Aaron Curtin also hit a double for the Wolves.

"It was a great win. A lot of guys stepped up and played well at big times and, of course, it was an enormous moment for our seniors," Smith said. "I've had a lot of senior games in my career, but I'm not sure I've ever had a more exciting or fitting end to a senior game. These seniors have had an amazing ride and I am excited to see what they can continue to do the remainder of the season and in playoffs."

The Wolves (8-8, 9-8) begin the eight-team, double-elimination tournament at 4 p.m. Tuesday, May 6, at either Meridian (4-7, 8-10) or Nooksack Valley (3-7, 8-9).

Before district, Coupeville finishes league play at 3 p.m. at Sultan (0-16, 0-17) Friday, May 2, and at Lakewood (6-10, 7-11) Saturday, May 3.

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