Friday Harbor’s baseball team clinched a return state tourney trip with a 9-2 win over Orcas Island Vikings in the first round of the Class 2B Bi-District Tournament Saturday, May 13, 2017. The undefeated Wolverines captured the Bi-District title with a 10-2 victory over Concrete later than afternoon at Stanwood High School.
“It’s been an absolute pleasure watching these young athletes gel as a ball club, but more importantly it's been great to see them fully support each other as teammates,” said Friday Harbor coach Rich Warin.
With their fourth win this season over the Lions (8-9), the Wolverines gained the next-best-thing-to-a-home-game for their next contest: Friday Harbor (22-0) meets Toutle Lake (14-8) at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 20 at Volunteer Park in Anacortes.
“It will be so good for the fans to come see the guys after the way they have been playing,” Warin said.
Friday Harbor’s players are excited about a rematch against the Toutle Lake Ducks, who knocked them from the state quarterfinals last year. “We thought we could win every game on our schedule this year and we did,” said senior Kai Herko. “We’ll just continue to take care of things.”
Later on May 20 at Volunteer Park, the Wolverines-Ducks victor will meet the winner of a contest between Kettle Falls (15-5) and Adna (15-5) or Wahkiakum (16-5). That game’s winner — the Region 1 Champion —advances to Class 2B’s final four in Centralia May 26-27.
Friday Harbor scored three runs in the first inning against Orcas (5-10), but the Vikings drew within a run in the third off a single, base-on-balls and a couple of errors. The Wolverines added a run in the bottom of the inning and two more in the fourth for a 6-2 lead. They posted three insurance runs in the sixth.
Kai Herko was impressive on the mound and at the plate against Orcas. He struck out 14 Viking batters, gave up two hits, walked two and didn’t allow an earned run. Going 4-for-4, Herko smashed two singles, a double and a triple and drove in three runs.
Friday Harbor assistant coach Steve Schramm was impressed with Herko's ability to recover when behind to a batter and with a couple of Vikings on base. “Kai’s always able to battle back,” Schramm said. “He just pulls it off.”
Senior Corbin Williams cracked two base hits, a double and had an RBI for the Wolverines. Senior Eli Cooper-West rapped a double, reached base on balls and finished with 3 RBI. Junior Rio Black singled, doubled and drove in a run. Sophomore Marshall Clark doubled in a run and freshman Nick Herko had a base hit.
Freshmen Daniel Keyes and Charles Brady hit a single apiece for the Vikings.
Concrete scored a run in the first inning but the Wolverines plated three runs in the bottom of the frame, another three in the third and four in the fourth. The Lions crossed the plate once more in the fifth.
Clark earned the win by going the distance in his first complete game. He struck out four, scattered five hits and walked three.
“We had great pitching performances today,” Schramm said.
“We’re excited about Marshall,” Kai Herko said.
“We have a lot of confidence in him,” Cooper-West said.
Kai Herko went 4-for-4 once again: He bashed two singles, a double and a triple. Cooper-West connected for two singles and a double and plated three runs. Black ripped a single, walked twice and drove in a run. Nick Herko lined a double and had three RBI. Clark and sophomore Yadir Plaza drove in a run apiece.
Senior Austin Wenneker singled in a run for the Lions. Senior Tyler Labrousse doubled in a run. Junior Riley Fichter had two base hits and sophomore Tyler Coffell singled.