It’s a year later and Coeur d’Alene baseball coach Nick Rook still maintains his team should have won its State 5A tournament opener.
Rook’s Vikings rolled into Boise last spring and promptly fell to eventual state champ Capital 6-4. A couple of mistakes cost CdA a win, Rook said.
Funny how fate sometimes gives a team another shot. CdA opens state tonight in a rematch of its opener a year ago. The Region I runner-up Vikings (21-9) take on Capital (15-12) at 6 p.m. PDT at Hawks Stadium.
Region I champ Lewiston (24-2), which took fourth last year, meets Rocky Mountain (19-8).
The tourney appears wide open.
“We’re as good as anybody (at state),” Rook said. “We played Centennial (District III champ) and Rocky Mountain. We split with Rocky Mountain and beat Centennial. I like our chances down there.”
CdA’s bats appear to be warming up at the right time, too. Chad Nyquist is batting a team-leading .443 and New Mexico State-bound Devon Austin is hitting .428 with team highs in homers (four) and runs batted in (45).
“We’ve got to win the first one and that’s the hardest,” Austin said. “It’s going to take hard work, but we’ll be ready.”
Rook is optimistic.
“We’re not going down there to go 0-2 like last year,” Rook said. “We’re going down there to make a statement.”
4A: The tourney begins today at Rodeo Park in Nampa.
Region I champ Lakeland (13-11) faces defending state champ Minico (21-11) at noon.
Caleb Guerber leads Lakeland with a .510 batting average.
3A: The tourney begins today at Treasure Valley Community College in Ontario, Ore.
District I-II runner-up Timberlake (15-7) meets Buhl (21-5), which took third last year, at 9 a.m., while District I-II champ Orofino (18-6), which finished fourth last season, meets Bear Lake (12-7).