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On to the State Playoffs for Columbia!!!

5A DISTRICT III BASEBALL

Columbia baseball secures first state bid since 2014 with win over Centennial

  • By BRANDON WALTON This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  •  
  • May 9, 2017

Columbia vs Centennial Baseball

 

MERIDIAN — Jordan Forrester’s great grandfather, Roy Steele, is the former P.A. announcer with the Oakland Athletics.

The Columbia junior outfielder and the rest of the team would’ve given Steele quite the call at the 5A District III Tournament at Centennial High Tuesday night. Forrester had a pair of base hits and a RBI as Columbia downed host Centennial 8-5 to punch its ticket to the state tournament. The first state tournament berth since 2014.

“(Announcing) is something he does all the time,” Forrester said. “I’m sure he’s going to be proud of me and I’m ready to call him and tell him about this for sure.”

 
 

The win was the Wildcats’ third in four days, completing a season-long goal, one that seemed unlikely. Columbia won just five games last year, and this season, started 2-9, finishing ninth in the 5A Southern Idaho Conference regular season standings.

The result left the Wildcats (11-15) on the outside looking of the 5A District III Tournament, literally. They had to win a play-in game just to qualify for the district tournament itself.

Columbia, though, did just that, beating Boise 4-2 on Saturday. It followed with a 10-5 win over fourth seeded Mountain View, before defeating Centennial on its own field.

“It just shows you the resiliency of these kids,” Columbia coach Phil Diplock said. “Especially with what they’ve been through over the last four years of suffering through a lot of losses. It’s that battle mentality and sticking together, and that’s what they’ve done.”

But Tuesday’s win didn’t come easy, far from it in fact. The Wildcats gave up leads on two separate occasions, including falling behind by a run in the fifth.

Leading 4-2 in the bottom half of the fifth, junior pitcher Colton Makinster gave up a two-out bases loaded double, handing the Patriots a 5-4 advantage.

However, Columbia clawed back in the final two innings. After the Wildcats’ first two batters were sat down on strikes in the sixth, they got an unusual two-out rally going.

Columbia drew three consecutive walks to load the bases. But when junior Adrian Crain grounded straight to the pitcher, the rally looked as if it was going to come up short. However, the pitcher’s throw to first base was a couple feet too high, sailing over the first baseman’s head and leading to a 6-5 Wildcat lead, and ended up being the game-winning runs.

“That’s the one thing about the game, you never know what can happen,” Diplock said. “We never quit playing hard and that’s exactly why, because of things like that.”

The Wildcats tacked on a pair of insurance runs in the seventh on RBI singles by senior Garret Turner and Makinster. Centennial followed by going down in order as Turner corralled the final ground ball, throwing it over to senior Hunter Frederiksen for the game’s final out.

Players poured out of the dugout, throwing their gloves high in the air and hugging each other, signifying Columbia’s return to the postseason.

“This is amazing,” Forrester said. “I honestly don’t think I have words to describe how I’m feeling right now.”

Turner tallied a game-high three hits, while senior Carson Brown, Makinster and Forrester all chipped in with two hits apiece. Makinster also picked up the win on the hill, going five and two-thirds innings, allowing six hits with three strikeouts.

While the Wildcats already have their state tournament spot secured, they still have one more district game to play. Columbia plays Timberline at 6 p.m. Thursday at Capital High School in the third-place game.

 

Columbia vs Centennial Baseball