Playing in triple-digit temperatures, the Coupeville Babe Ruth baseball team split the first two games of a best-of-three series with Columbia Basin at the state 15U tournament Friday, July 13, in Ephrata.
The teams face off again at 9 a.m. Saturday, July 14, in the rubber match to determine who will win the state title and a trip to the regional tournament in Portland.
The Wolves suffered a rugged 3-2 loss in eight innings in the opener but rebounded to claim the second game 6-2.
Columbia Basin 3, Coupeville 2 (8 innings)
Columbia Basin scored a run in the second inning and the game remained 1-0 until Coupeville tallied in the top of the seventh when Daniel Olson walked and eventually scored on a passed ball to send the game to extra innings.
The Wolves then took the lead in the eighth when Scott Hilborn singled in Cody Roberts, who had walked.
Columbia Basin used used three walks wrapped around two errors to win the game in ugly fashion in the their half of the inning.
Olson pitched the first seven innings for Coupeville, giving up four hits, one earned run and striking out nine.
Two Columbia Basin pitchers combined to strike out 17 Wolves.
Coupeville out-hit Columbia Basin 6-4. Hilborn, Olson, Gavin Knoblich, Ulrik Wells, Aston Leland and Roberts recorded the Wolves’ hits, all singles.
Coupeville 6, Columbia Basin 2
Columbia Basin scored single runs in the top of the first two innings, and each time Coupeville responded.
The Wolves tied it in the bottom of the first when Hawthorne Wolfe walked and moved up on three passed balls.
When Columbia Basin went up 2-1 in the second, the Wolves took the lead with three runs in their half.
Walks to Leland, Roberts, Hilborn and Wolfe, and singles by Olson and Johnny Carlson produced the three-spot.
Coupeville added two insurance runs in the fourth on a walk to Hilborn and hits by Olson and Xavier Murdy.
Leland, who pitched the first 6.1 innings, and Roberts limited Columbia Basin to three hits; Leland struck out eight.
Eight different Wolves stroked singles: Hilborn, Wolfe, Olson, Wells, Leland, Drake Borden, Carlson and Murdy.
Wolfe, Olson and Carlson drove in runs; Murdy scored twice.
The Wolves were helped along by 11 walks. Hilborn, Wolfe and Knoblich each received two free passes.