The Tides win the Class 3A state baseball quarterfinal 10-9.
UNIVERSITY PLACE — After coming from behind to beat Shorewood earlier in the day and leading Gig Harbor 8-0 in the Class 3A state quarterfinals on Saturday afternoon at Curtis High School, Lakeside appeared well on its way to clinching a spot in the state semifinals this weekend at Safeco Field. But baseball is a funny game.
No. 5 Gig Harbor (22-4) scored 10 of the game’s final 11 runs to come from behind and stun the No. 10 Lions 10-9, earning the spot in the semis that seemed destined to go to the Lions (18-6).
“It’s pretty impressive,” Gig Harbor coach Pete Jansen said. “We were losing to Kelso (earlier this season) 7-2 and came back and won 10-7. We were down 8-0 and I told them, ‘We came back to beat Kelso, let’s just chip away. You can’t get eight runs in one swing, so we just need lots of base runners.’ These guys, they never give up.”
The comeback started innocently enough in the top of the fifth inning with a solo home run to center field by junior Austin Dempewolf. It was the only run the Tides would score that inning, but it clearly gave a team that had been left for dead some momentum.
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“It got us on the board,” Jansen said. “That’s right after we had the little talk, we had three innings left, so let’s chip away and get some runs.”
The momentum carried over into the sixth inning. With two runs already across and the deficit trimmed to 8-3, sophomore Cole Smith doubled to right-center field with the bases loaded. All three runners scored to make the score 8-6. The Tides added one more run before the end of the inning to get to within one run.
The Lions answered back in the bottom of the sixth inning with one run to give themselves a cushion going into the final inning, but the Tides erased that cushion with one swing of the bat.
Junior Jordan Haworth crushed a…