Baseball out at Districts
EPHRATA – Quincy battled hard and left the tying run at home plate before losing to the Ephrata Tigers 4-2 in the first round of districts May 4.
The Jacks loaded the bases in the top of the sixth and cut the Tigers’ lead in half, but could not get any closer.
Ephrata jumped to an early 3-0 lead, and Quincy struggled to get its offense in a groove until the sixth inning, when they loaded the bases with one out. The Tigers chased starting Quincy pitcher Douglas Tobin after he hit a batter to load the bases. Kaeden Murphy replaced him and the first batter he faced laced a grounder to third. The throw home went wide, the Ephrata runner scored and the bases remained loaded. Murphy bounced back to strike out the next two batters and stop the bleeding.
Down 4-0, Quincy went to work, looking for base hits. They got two on in the top of the fifth, but did not bring anyone home.
In the bottom of the fifth Murphy had a quick one-two-three inning. The leadoff Quincy batter in the sixth, Murphy smacked a double, followed by a single that gave the Jacks reason to hope, in particular after the runners advanced on a fielder’s choice.
The next batter, Nick Lopez, displayed good plate discipline, earning a six-pitch walk after starting down 0-2. The walk loaded the bases for the Jacks.
Joel Villafana swung into a fielder’s choice, but the throw went wide, scoring two runs, and moving Villafana to second.
The next batter struck out but the comeback seemed possible, especially after Quincy sat three Tigers down in order in the bottom of the inning.
In the top of the seventh, Tobin unleashed a double to left, but got stranded there. Murphy made the last out, and could not hide his disappointment, despite a brilliant job in relief and the words of one of the coaches, “I would go to war with you anytime.”
The game was the third in a week between the Tigers and Jacks.
With both the Quincy and Ephrata baseball teams tied for fourth in the Central Washington Athletic Conference standings, the teams entered April 30’s Battle of the Basin doubleheader, fighting for the right to host a first-round district playoff game.
The visiting Tigers made the most of their opportunity, erasing a three-run sixth-inning deficit to take Game 1 by a score of 5-3 before jumping all over the Jackrabbits for five runs in the first inning of Game 2.
By the time Ephrata starter Logan Moss ran into trouble in the bottom of the seventh, the Tigers had built a six-run lead and hung on for an 8-5 victory to complete the sweep of their Basin rivals.
“It is always good to beat Quincy,” Ephrata coach Jason Laugen said after the doubleheader. “They were ahead in that first game, which could have gone either way but Gunnar Falstad pitched well and our bats finally came alive in the late innings.”
“Today we had two decently played nail-biters that were equally competitive, and we’re stoked to get two wins,” Laugen said. “We know that they’ll come in wanting blood on (May 4), so we have to be ready.”
Sebastian Moraga, Quincy Valley Post-Register. The Wenatchee World contributed to this report