Tiger boys baseball clinch District III 4A championship
The Mountain Home Tigers put together some great pitching and timely hitting to sweep through the District III 4A Baseball Tournament and win the district championship.
Gabe Anderson continued his strong pitching efforts, pitching a four-hit shutout as the Tigers opened the District III 4A Baseball Tournament with a 5-0 win over Columbia at Nampa's Rodeo Park last Tuesday.
The Tigers scored a run in the first, as Gabe Anderson walked, stole second, and came home on a single by Eric Christiansen.
That would be all the scoring until the top of the seventh, when Columbia changed pitchers, and the Tigers teed off on him for four runs and five hits to increase their lead to 5-0.
"Gabe Anderson threw an absolutely great game and we had clutch hitting from Ricky Lee, Ricky Baker, and Logan Monasterio comes up and gets a big sacrifice fly for us, so I'm really proud of the effort, and it's always nice to open the tournament with a win."
Ricky Baker had three hits, and Ricky Lee, Gabe Anderson and Eric Christiansen each had two, and Trevor Woodruff one.
Christiansen had two RBIs. Baker, Woodruff and Logan Monasterio each had one. Anderson struck out 12 and improved to 5-2 on the season.
The Columbia win put the Tigers in the semi-finals against Middleton, the number eight seed, which had pulled off the first surprise of the tourney when they upset number one seed Emmett 2-1.
The Vikings jumped out to a 3-0 lead, but the Tigers battled back to win 4-3.
Some Tiger errors helped Middleton score three runs in the top of the second, but Mountain Home got two of them back in the bottom half of the inning on Trevor Woodruff's two-run home run.
Eric Christiansen helped his own cause by singling in Gabe Anderson with the tying run in the third inning. Anderson had doubled to lead off the inning.
Mountain Home took advantage of Viking miscues to plate the go-ahead run in the fifth, and Eric Christiansen, who held Middleton to just three hits in the game, set the Vikings down in order the rest of the way to improve to 4-4 on the season.
The Tigers managed just four hits, but three of them were extra-base hits. Trevor Woodruff had his two-run home run, Gabe Anderson and Logan Monasterio both had doubles, and Eric Christiansen had an RBI single.
The Middleton win put the Tigers in Friday night's district championship game against Skyview. The Tigers jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning and never looked back, as they beat the Hawks 8-2.
Back-to-back doubles by Eric Christiansen and Trevor Woodruff plated three runs as the Tigers went up 3-0 in the first inning.
Both teams scored a run in the third inning, and Mountain Home pretty much put the game out of reach with three runs in the fifth, two of them coming on a single by Logan Monasterio.
"I definitely knew we had a chance to go to state this year, but these guys have definitely overachieved and overwhelmed me how impressive they were this week," said Coach DeVore in radio comments after the game. "I've said all year, I don't think that we've peaked, and man we are starting to peak at the right time, so I'm extremely proud of the efforts."
Ricky Baker had two hits and two RBIs, Gabe Anderson and Eric Christiansen both had doubles, Christiansen had two RBIs, Logan Monasterio had a hit and two RBIs, Trevor Woodruff had a hit and RBI, and Tom Hennessey also had a hit. Woodruff won his second straight start -- both against Skyview -- striking out six, walking four, hitting two batters, and giving up seven hits.
The Tigers take a 13-16 overall record into the State 4A Baseball Tournament at Bishop Kelly starting tomorrow.
Coach DeVore is happy his club is back at state this year.
"It broke the streak for me personally, coaching, because we've gone (to state) every other year, and finally we go back-to-back years.
"These kids deserve it, as we've had a rough season in a lot of ways. It all starts over now. I keep telling the guys we have three goals: make it to state, win a district title, and win a state title. We've accomplished two of those now, and obviously that third one's huge, and every team that goes there is going to have a starting pitcher that can beat anyone, so that first round match-up is usually the best game of the tournament.
"I like our chances against anybody right now, the way our kids are pitching and the way they are in the dugout right now. They're absolutely intense and fired up. They won this week because of their emotion and how much they wanted it, and for no other reason."
The Tigers open the state tournament tomorrow afternoon at 4 p.m. against Hillcrest at Bishop Kelly.