PASCO — Kentridge coach John Flanigan didn’t have any doubts that his team would rebound. But that still shouldn’t diminish what Kentridge had to rally from.
The Chargers took a 10-0 loss to Skyview on the chin in Friday’s Class 4A semifinal, but they quickly regrouped to beat rival Kentwood 4-3 on Saturday for third place.
“We’ve had a classy group of guys all year long that have shown a lot of pride,” Flanigan said, “and I knew we would come out and fight.
“It just shows a lot of heart, a lot of pride.”
Joel Condreay got Kentridge on the board with an RBI double in the second inning. Travis McGuire then tacked on two more runs with another double in the fourth inning, which gave Kentridge a 3-2 lead.
Joe Wainhouse clubbed an RBI triple in the top of the seventh inning, which proved to be a vital run just a half inning later.
Kentwood struggled to get much going offensively after using a Kentridge error in the first inning to score a run. Bit after Kellen Wilson’s sacrifice fly cut Kentridge’s lead to one in the fourth inning, the Conquerors had perhaps their best chance in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Wilson and Kramer Sims, the first two hitters of the seventh, reach base for Kentwood. Michael Ciancio drove in a run with a deep sacrifice fly. That made the score 4-3 and left the tying run on second base with two outs.
Reese McGuire, Kentwood’s catcher and a future first-round draft pick, stepped to the plate, but only briefly as Kentridge intentionally walked him. That brought up Tanner Wessling, who flied out to center to end the game.
Sam Dacus pitched all seven innings for Kentridge and gave up six hits and just two earned runs.
“Sammy did a great job keeping them off balance,” Flanigan said. “They didn’t get a lot of good swings at it.”
Kentridge, which lost to Kentwood twice during the regular season, made the final four of the state tournament for the first time since 1991, when the Chargers also finished third.
“To come in here and get a trophy, and beating those guys on top of it, it was a great season,” Flanigan said. “It’s a great building block for our program.”