Cheney baseball advances to 2A regional
Cheney High School head baseball coach Mike Cagle wanted his team to experience a chance to play in regionals as he did when he played ball.
Now it looks like they will get that opportunity, as the Blackhawks advance to 2A regionals in Yakima, May 24.
The journey to regionals was not easy for Cheney.
The Blackhawks headed to Colville, May 14, where they defeated the Indians, 6-3, in the semi-finals of the Great Northern League (GNL) districts.
Although the Blackhawks took a 3-2 lead, Colville scored a run to tie the game in the bottom of the fifth inning. In the top of the sixth, Riley Jones hit a sacrifice fly to bring in the go ahead run. Cheney scored two more runs after back-to-back hits.
“It was a dogfight, but it was a huge win for us,” Cagle said.
Following the win over Colville, Cheney lost to East Valley, 10-7 in the GNL championship final.
After the Knights were ahead 6-1 in the bottom of the fifth, Dominic Bonilla hit a triple while Sawyer Sims hit a home run that helped the Blackhawks bring in four more runs. Cheney scored two more runs in the seventh, but weren’t able to catch up to the Knights.
Cagle said the team was capable of tying the game in both the sixth and seventh, but “it just didn’t work out.” He added that the pressure of playing in a championship game might have made the players nervous.
“A lot of these kids had never played in a championship game,” Cagle said. “It was good for them though.”
One hour after playing the Knights, the Blackhawks rebounded to defeat West Valley, 8-5.
The Eagles were up 5-3 at the bottom of sixth. Just as it seemed that their season was ending, the Blackhawks — a team known for rallying late in the game — scored five runs.
Kyle Jones had a double while Bonilla hit a 2 RBI single. Tanner “Bubba” Smith hit a triple that brought in Bonilla. Sims hit a sacrifice fly that brought in Smith for the final run.
Cheney will play the Ellensburg Bulldogs at 1 p.m. at Davis High School. The Bulldogs come into regionals after a 4-2 victory over Selah, May 17, in the Central Washington Athletic Conference championship final. If Cheney beats Ellensburg, they will play again later that day.
“We have about 15 minutes to celebrate our win and then we play again,” Cagle said. “It takes a lot of endurance, but we’re happy to be there.”
Al Stover can be reached at email@example.com.