The Eatonville Cruiser baseball team’s season ended last week after the Tenino Beavers stormed back from a deficit to take an 8-6 victory in a loser-out game in the 2022 Southwestern Washington District IV playoffs.
After jumping out to a 6-1 lead after three innings and silencing the Tenino Beaver bats, the tides turned, and Tenino got hot at the plate while the Beavers held the Cruisers scoreless for the rest of the game. With that loss, the Cruiser's season ended.
Earlier in the week, in the opening game of the district playoffs, the No. 3-seeded Cruisers battled the No. 2-seeded La Center Wildcats.
The Wildcats scored first in the bottom of the third inning only to have the Cruisers respond in the top of the fourth with two runs to move ahead 2-1.
La Center scored two of their own in the bottom of that inning to take a 3-2 lead, which the Wildcats held onto through the end, and they dropped Eatonville into the consolation bracket in the double-elimination tournament.
Eatonville's Blain Hanly threw a complete game and gave up three runs on four hits and struck out seven Wildcat hitters.
At the plate, the Wildcats held the Cruisers to one hit on the day when Skylar Sarpy laid down a bunt to get on base and score the Cruisers' only run. He finished the day 1-2 with an RBI and a walk.
In the consolation round, the Cruisers faced the No. 4-seeded team from the TriCo league, the Columbia/White Salmon Bruins, in a loser-out game.
Eatonville came away with a 5-1 victory in that matchup to ensure them at least one more game.
Ashton Meyer got the start on the mound for Eatonville. He went five and one third innings and gave up one run on two hits and struck out nine batters. Offensively, Jakob Lucht led the Cruisers with two hits, hitting 2-4 with a double and a run scored. E.J. McMains went 1-1 at the plate and drove in two Cruisers runs and reached base two other times via the hit by pitch.
In the final game of the season against Tenino, the Cruisers only managed three hits. Payton Hanly, Blain Hanly and Riley Storm each hit one, each driving in a run, as well.
The Cruisers finished the season with an 11-11 record and a third-place finish in the 1A Evergreen Conference.
Eatonville will lose 10 seniors from this year's squad with graduation and will return only three starters next year. With a total of five returning players, Eatonville’s coaches will have to rebuild next season.