YAKIMA – Freeman’s Season of Redemption baseball tour chugged into County Stadium on Friday – as the Scotties had hoped – with a semifinal date with Cedar Park Christian.
Unfortunately for Freeman, the silent bats that have plagued them in three straight semifinal appearances continued in the high desert heat and the Scotties fell 6-1.
Freeman will face Cashmere at 10 a.m. on Saturday in the third-place game.
In three semifinals in Yakima, Freeman has managed to score just two runs. The Scotties lost their previous two appearances 3-1 and 4-0.
Freeman’s run this time – and they had plenty of chances – was something of a gift. In the seventh inning with the bases loaded, obstruction was called, allowing a run to score. Other than that, despite having men on in each of the final four innings, Freeman couldn’t get a hit when it was needed.
“We’re one of the top four teams in the state and we didn’t play like we have all year,” Freeman coach Chad Ripke said after the game. “It’s not the pressure, these guys have been here and done it.
“That’s a damn good team. They took advantage of our mistakes.”
There were plenty of mistakes. The Scotties had committed just 18 errors coming into Friday’s game Ripke said, but made five against Cedar Park Christian.
“I don’t know. I’m sorry,” he said with a shrug.
Freeman left seven men on base and twice had brilliant defensive plays by CPC take away what appeared to be run scoring hits.
Scottie starting pitcher McKabe Cottrell seemed to struggle with a strike zone smaller than he was accustomed to. Cottrell ended up being removed in the sixth inning due to pitch count. The 40 pitches he threw in the fourth inning – while allowing just one run and walking two – contributed mightily to being removed.
“We got squeezed,” Ripke said. “And it seemed like every time that would happen, then a hit would happen.”
Cedar Park Christian starter Jack Flynn faced just two men over the minimum in the first four innings and kept the Scotties off balance with an assortment of off-speed deliveries.
Colfax 6, Wahkiakum 5: Nate Akesson hit a two-run triple and scored on an overthrow in the fourth inning and the Bulldogs (20-1) beat Wahkiakum in a State 2B semifinal game at Wheeler Field in Centralia.
Cal Gregory added two hits with a triple for Colfax, which advances to face Tri-Cities Prep – which beat Napavine 4-3 in the other semi – for the title on Saturday at 1 p.m.