RICHLAND — It certainly will go down as one of the longest complete games in SCAC district history.
Yes, Daniel Deaton threw the routine seven innings in Kiona-Benton's 7-1 win over Columbia-Burbank in the district championship. The remarkable part is it took 49 hours and took place in two different cities.
Jimmy Gifford drove in three runs and Deaton was pretty much untouchable for the four innings he threw Monday at Bomber Field in Richland in the completion of a game that started Saturday at Davis High in Yakima before being halted after three innings by stormy weather.
Both teams advance to the regional round of state games Saturday. Kiona-Benton will play Tenino at 1 p.m. at Larson Field in Moses Lake. Columbia-Burbank faces Freeman at 10 a.m. at Dan White Field in East Wenatchee.
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A story in Saturday's Herald stated this was the Bears' first trip to state since 1980 (brain freeze by this reporter). In fact, Ki-Be was last at state in 2007 and is making its 16th state appearance since that 1980 season, including a title in 1996 following back-to-back second-place finishes in 1994-95.
Burbank is back at state for the second straight year and fourth time since 2005.
"Deaton really threw well," Ki-Be coach Clark Brown said of his starter, who allowed just one hit Monday and finished with a five-hitter. "He threw a two-seam fastball that really cut in on right-handed hitters, really jammed their hitters."
Meanwhile, the Bears opened up the offense in the fifth inning, thanks to a little help from the Coyotes.
A leadoff error and a one-out walk got the pot to bubbling, and Grant Pierce singled to left to load the bases.
Hayden Wing drew a walk to match the run C-B scored Saturday. Gifford then stepped to the plate and slugged a ball into center field that drove in two more.
Gifford, who followed Wing's leadoff triple in the seventh with a single, said Ki-Be's hitters had to be aggressive from the get-go.
"We had to come in with the right mind set and get clutch hits," Gifford said. "We knew we had to come out ready to go and not wait to get hits like we usually do."
The Coyotes didn't go quietly in the seventh, getting two aboard with one out thanks to an error and a walk. But Deaton struck out the next batter and got the final out on a pop-up to second.
"You can't make mistakes against that team," said C-B coach Mike Steberl. "That's why they're undefeated (in league)."
For the Bears, the district trophy is a nice addition to their 10-0 SCAC East season, especially coming after a 1-4 start in nonleague play.
"It was a good year," Brown said, "but we're hoping for more."
Kiona-Benton 000 041 2 -- 7 8 3
Columbia-Burbank 001 000 0 -- 1 5 3
Daniel Deaton and Todd Riley; Jordan Shuttlesworth, Tim Ellis (5) and Kevin Ireland. Highlights--Hayden Wing (KB) 3B, 2 BB, 2R; Jimmy Gifford (KB) 2x4, 3 RBI; Deaton (KB) 7IP-5H-1R, 2x4.