Kentlake battles through rough first inning to make state semifinals

The Falcons’ starting pitcher, Jordon Wright, was hit by a line drive and gave up four runs, but he settled down to pitch Kentlake past Sumner.

PUYALLUP — The pain was almost too much.

Kentlake pitcher Jordon Wright was tagged by a line drive on his first throw of the game against Sumner. The welt on his right forearm throbbed too much to throw his change-up and worsened after giving up three runs in the opening inning of the Falcons’ Class 4A state regional baseball final at Heritage Park.

Wright’s dad provided the motivation to push through — his older brother Zach faced a similar first inning in the 2008 reginal final. Although it was just two runs and not the addition of an injury from a hit.

“If he could do it, I can, too,” Jordon said. “I wanted to battle through.”

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The younger Wright only gave up one more run in the following four innings. Teammate Dylan Mackie closed the game, sealing a 9-5 win on Saturday.

No. 9 Kentlake (18-6) advances to the Class 4A state semifinals at Safeco Field next weekend. It’s a first since the older Wright was on the mound, that team placing second.

“When I get to the field, it’s going to be butterflies,” Jordon said as his teammates crowded in the outfield making three calls on speakerphone to spread the news.

Kentlake coach Brett Jaime couldn’t attend due to a funeral and didn’t answer, but assistant Brian Hartnett, who’s on a business trip in New York, and assistant Carson McCord, who had to work Saturday evening, did and the team erupted into cheers and inside jokes.

“No one expected us to get this far,” senior center fielder Jayke Chavez said. “This feels amazing. People finally have to take us seriously. We’ve been working so hard all year, for people to finally see that is amazing. I mean, the energy we bring. Sumner tried to compete with it, but they can’t keep up with…

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