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Auburn Mountainview reaches 3A semifinals | Prep baseball
Senior Nick Brooks’ walk-off RBI single lifted top-ranked Auburn Mountainview past Decatur 9-8 in the state 3A baseball quarterfinals at Centralia on Saturday.
The Lions (24-3) will play Kennewick at 1 p.m. this Friday in the state semifinals at GESA Stadium in Pasco. A win puts the Lions into the title game at 4 p.m. this Saturday against the survivor of the Mount Si-West Seattle semifinal, which is set for 10 a.m Friday.
Auburn Mountainview, as it did in the district playoffs, pulled out another game in dramatic fashion.
The Gators (17-11) had taken an 8-6 lead into the seventh inning, but the Lions responded.
Brice McCulloch led off the bottom of the seventh with a double. Matt Anderson singled before shortstop Tyler Friis tied the game on a clutch two-run single up the middle.
The Lions then loaded the bases on a walk, single and fielder's choice, setting the stage for Brooks, the South Puget Sound League 3A Player of the Year, who connected on the game-winning hit.
It was the Lions’ fifth win in six meetings against their SPSL rivals this season.
Senior Kekoa Nahaku finished the game with a 5-for-5 performance at the plate, including three runs and a double.
Friis had two RBIs and a double and senior Jeffrey Morgan added two RBIs and a double, as well.
Auburn Mountainview junior Joey Cassano earned the win on the hill with 3.2 innings in relief.
Decatur shortstop Isaiah Hatch, who played for Auburn Little League during its dream season that culminated at Williamsport, Pa., in 2010, homered twice in the game.
Auburn Mountainview opened the state regional at Ed Wheeler Field in Centralia with a 2-0 victory against Glacier Peak. Brooks threw a complete-game shutout, striking out 10. McCulloch hit an RBI double in the second inning.