Okanogan falls to defending 1A champions, 17-7; Bulldogs end season one game shy of state tournament
FREEMAN – The Okanogan High School baseball team started out this season in tough fashion.
Going 0-3 right out of the gates, the Bulldogs would go on to win eight of their next 12 games to close out the regular season second in the Caribou Trail League.
“We played some powerhouse teams early on and kind of took our lumps,” said Dave Howe, head coach for Okanogan.
Through all their ups and downs, Okanogan would now find themselves in a loser out, winner to state game.
However, they would have to knock off the defending champion Freeman Scotties if they wanted to punch their ticket to this year’s state tournament.
Freeman got out to an 8-0 lead after the first inning and things looked all but done.
As they’ve done all season, Okanogan battled and continued to fight as they slowly chipped away at the lead.
The Bulldogs scored two runs in the second (2- 8) and two more in the top of the third to narrow Freeman’s lead to 8-4.
After seeing their big eight run lead cut in half, Freeman would get a big lift as Spencer Curnow would hit a 3-run home run to give the Scotties a 12-4 lead after the third.
Okanogan picked up two runs in the top of the fifth, cutting the lead to six runs (12-6).
But every time the Bulldogs scored, Freeman would answer as they would picked up three runs in the bottom of the fifth, taking a 15-6 lead.
The Bulldogs picked up a run in the sixth (15- 7), but Freeman would go on to end the game in the bottom of sixth, scoring two runs to win 17-7 to advance on to the state tournament.
“We’ve improved tremendously since the season started. These kids are dam resilient,” said Howe. “I’m really proud of our kids. It’s been a great year.”
It was a tough day for the Okanogan pitchers, as they walked 14 and hit five Freeman hitters.
Colville tribal descendant Kolby Picard of Okanogan got one out in the bottom of the sixth before the Scotties scored two runs to end the game on a 10-run rule.
Picard went 1-for-3 at the plate, finishing with a double and run scored. Fellow teammate Jarrett Smith, a Colville tribal member, went 1-for-1, as he finished with a double, RBI, a walk and was hit-by-pitch.
Gavin Ammons-Cohen, a tribal descendant went 1-for-3 with a run scored and drew a walk for Okanogan.
Ammons-Cohen and Picard along with Hunter Rubert and Martin Grooms are the four seniors for the Bulldogs.
Okanogan sees their season come to an end as they finish one game short of the state tournament for the second consecutive year.
The Bulldogs finished the year, second in the Caribou Trail League, and second at the district tournament.
CTL standings League Overall
W L W L
Chelan 9-0 18-2
Okanogan 5-4 9-9
Cashmere 3-6 6-15
Cascade 1-8 5-13
Omak 0-0 0-0