Photo by Andrew Ottoson
Grangeville celebrated two emotional wins early in the tournament and played for the 2A state championship last Saturday, May 19, at Nampa Christian High School.
As of Tuesday, May 22, 2018
NAMPA Grangeville’s Hunter Schoo was the goat for much of last Friday afternoon, May 18 at Nampa Christian High School. But at the end of the Bulldogs’ semifinal comeback win over Malad, Schoo was Grangeville’s hero.
Having tapped out both their primary pitchers during early-round wins over two other district champions, Grangeville squared off against the tournament hosts for the championship game.
Nampa Christian’s path to the championship game went through the play-in team out of District V and the third-best team out of District VI.
During a post-game trophy presentation, after they held on to beat Grangeville by an 11-1 final score, they thanked God for their win — Nampa Christian’s fourth consecutive 2A state baseball championship.
“Would we have liked to play our best, yes, but after two emotional wins, it really felt like we were out of gas,” GHS head coach Lee Nadiger said after the final, which saw Grangeville commit three errors.
Nampa Christian had tied the game, 1-1, on a couple of soft hits during the second inning — and pitcher Luke Tuttle had already allowed the only hit he would yield all day.
Grangeville starting pitcher Trent Hunter had helped his own cause with a double leading off the second inning. He scored by way of aggressive base running, with Nadiger waving him home even as the Trojans tried — and failed — to turn an inning-ending double play.
The run was a virtual replay of a do-or-die situation the night before, when Chase Adkison grounded into a fielder’s choice with Grangeville down 1-0 in the bottom of the seventh against Malad. With Tori Ebert in to run from second, Nadiger waved the tying run home even as Adkison outraced the double-play ball to first base.
In the eighth, Schoo made up for the error in left field that had given Malad the lead. With Easton McEwen on second base having drawn a walk and having advanced on a pitch in the dirt, Schoo punched an RBI single — and punched the ticket to Nadiger’s first tournament final as head coach.