Many of Kiona-Benton’s current baseball roster wouldn’t remember the Bears’ last trip to the state semifinals in 1997.
Some of them weren’t even born.
But they’ll certainly remember Saturday, when Ki-Be returned to the Final Four with two emotional victories over Cashmere — winner of three of the last four Class 1A state titles — and Zillah at Eastmont High School in East Wenatchee.
“(The Cashmere win) was one of the biggest wins I’ve ever been a part of,” Bears coach Steve Woods said. “It ended with their top hitter up with the bases loaded. They must have had 400 fans there.”
The Bears topped Cashmere 4-3 in Game 1, as closer Nate Rossine held off a bases-loaded threat in the seventh to earn the save. Then, Ki-Be topped the Leopards 3-2, as Jake Victory — pinch-running for James Deaton — stole second, took third on a sacrifice and stole home on a 3-2 pitch to pinch-hitter Brandon Morgan to secure the win.
“That was a great at-bat by Brandon to lay off that pitch and let it go,” Woods said, noting that Morgan fought back from 0-2. “I was telling Jake the whole game that their catcher was trying to frame the outside pitches and to be ready if the ball went off his glove.
“Well, the ball went off his glove, and Jake got shot out of a cannon and stole home to win it.”
Rossine had an RBI in each game, and Trey Manson pitched a complete-game against Zillah, striking out four.
Kiona-Benton 202 000 0 — 4 11 0
Cashmere 100 002 0 — 3 7 2
James Deaton, Nate Rossine (7) and Darrell Wheeler; Mason Elliott and McNair. Highlights—Modrell (C) 2x4, 2 RBI; McNair (C) 3x4; Danny Haller (KB) 2x4; Nate Rossine (KB) 2B, 3B, RBI; James Deaton (KB) 2x3, 4 Ks; Caleb Thompson (KB) RBI.
Zillah 200 000 0 — 2 6 2
Kiona-Benton 100 010 1 — 3 4 2
Two outs when winning run scored. Blaine Ross and Jake Smith; Trey Manson and Wheeler. Highlights—Williamson (Z) RBI; King (Z) RBI; N.Rossine (KB) RBI; Manson (KB) CG, 4 Ks.
PEPSI COLA DUSTERS MEMORIAL DAY TOURNAMENT: Mead’s Austin Farias pitched a 3-hitter to help his team beat Hanford A 4-3 at the tournament at LaPierre Field.
In another game, University beat Coeur d’Alene 10-4.
Mead 000 121 0 — 4 6 1
Hanford A 000 020 1 — 3 3 2
Austin Farias and Samuel Payne; Jason Serkowski, Carsten Manderbach (7) and Gage Young. Highlights—Drew Clark (M) 2x3, 2B; Casey Luttrell (M) 2x4; Cam Harms (M) 2B; Farias 5 Ks.