4A Baseball Regional: Heritage 3, Puyallup 0
Note: Because Heritage won the 1 p.m. game, the 4 p.m. game becomes the “bigger” story for the print edition. So here’s a quick recap of how the Timberwolves advanced to the elite eight.
TACOMA — Simon Bos said he has a friend who plays for a team that beat Puyallup this season. That scouting report was all he needed to know going into Heritage’s regional playoff game against the top-ranked team in the state.
“I knew they were beatable. With our team, I know we can beat any team,” Bos said.
Especially when Alex Smith is pitching, fooling batters most of the day.
Smith scattered eight hits, struck out five and shut out Puyallup 3-0, leading the Timberwolves (17-10) to the state’s elite eight. Heritage will face Greater St. Helens League rival Skyview at 4 p.m. for the right to go the state’s final four.
Bos hit a two-out, two-run single in the fourth inning to break a scoreless tie. Smith and the Heritage defense did the rest. It was the first time Puyallup (22-3) was shut out this season.
“I knew they were the No. 1 team coming in. I had to throw strikes, pitch to contact, and find a way to get outs,” Smith said.
Smith struck out two batters to end Puyallup’s biggest threat. The Vikings loaded the bases in the bottom of the third with one out, but could not get another ball in play.
“I wanted our team to shut them out and send a message to the rest of the state,” Smith said.
Heritage then loaded the bases in the top of the fourth. Smith got a single and Tim Hergert followed with a walk. With two outs, Marcus Mason was hit by a pitch. That set the stage for Bos.
“I knew he was going to throw a strike. I just had to barrel it up and hit a line drive. I knew it would score a run no matter what,” Bos said.
His single scored two.
Javier Villanueva then got an infield hit, and the Timberwolves added a run on an error on that play to make it 3-0.
This is Heritage’s second trip to the elite eight in the program’s history. The Timberwolves made it this far in 2008.
“I don’t even know what to say,” Bos said. “This was the biggest game I’d ever played in.”
He will be in an even bigger game in about 40 minutes (as of this writing).
“I’m just happy to be a part of it,” Smith added. “It’s a good feeling. We have a lot of support behind us.”
Class 4A Regional
HERITAGE 3, PUYALLUP 0
Heritage 000 300 0—3 6 3
Puyallup 000 000 0—0 8 2
Pitcher — Alex Smith 7 IP, win, 5 Ks.
Highlights — Jarod Luedecker 1-4; Simon Bos 2-2, 2 RBI; Smith 1-4; Javier Villanueva 1-3; Dakota Clevidence 1-3.
Pitcher — Brandon Illies 7 IP, loss, 8 Ks.
Highlights — Darian Clemens 2-4; Tyler McDowell 1-3; Illies 1-3; Owen Breithaupt 1-3; Levi Jordan 1-4, 2B; Adam Stump 1-3; Riley Pletcher 1-3.