Our state baseball preview shares the story of Shorewood’s rallying cry, which I thought would be worth sharing in this space.
A preps baseball preview appeared in The Seattle Times with a headline that read: “Will Shorewood reach Pasco?”
That article was printed out, posted in the Thunderbirds’ dugout and each player wrote a goal on around the edge and after every game coach Wyatt Tonkin told his players he had a couple questions to ask them.
“Will we reach Pasco?”
Shorewood answered that question and more last weekend as it won two tight games to reach the state semifinals. The 2-0 win over Mount Si was especially sweet considering the Wildcats gave the Thunderbirds a painful loss in the title game in 2011. Shorewood then turned around and beat Bainbridge 1-0 later in the day to punch its ticket to Pasco.
Three runs is all Shorewood managed in two loser-out games, but yet, here they are. And the reason: pitching.
Sam Boone and Ian Oxnevad spun gems to propel the Thunderbirds. Add in quality arms in the bullpen and it’s no mystery as to why Shorewood is still playing this late in the season.
“Our guys don’t panic,” Tonkin said. “In the sixth and seventh inning, our two guys know their roles and they’re ready to go. I think it’s confidence to know that those two guys are out there in the bullpen and they have good stuff and they throw strikes.”
Now, of course, is the difficult part, which is to win the first state title in program history.
“It would mean a lot to these guys, especially to … the seniors,” Tonkin said. “Those guys were around when we got one out away against Mount Si. So it was kind of sweet to get a win against them Saturday. I think it would mean a lot to these guys because they work hard and do a little extra. Their pride and their honor and their courage, it would mean a lot to them. Being there is the goal that we set. Now that we’re there, what the heck, might as well win it.”
Speaking of the state tournament, here are the remaining teams.
4A: South Kitsap vs. Wenatchee, Puyallup vs. Woodinville
3A: O’Dea vs. Mt. Spokane, Shorewood vs. Bonney Lake
2A: Anacortes vs. Ellensburg, Tumwater vs. Lake Washington
1A: Woodland vs. Kiona Benton, Naches Valley vs. Rochester
2B: Napavine vs. Asotin, DeSales vs. Adna
1B: Oakville vs. Colton