There was no doubt Wednesday that the Timberline Blazers were ready for the baseball postseason.
The Blazers, the regular-season champions of the 3A Narrows League, haven’t exactly been swamped with games lately.
Wet weather last week forced the cancellation of the league championship game against Yelm, meaning that Timberline entered its 3A West Central/Southwest bi-district tournament Wednesday against Enumclaw having played just two games in two weeks.
The Blazers’ bats quickly ended any thoughts of the team being rusty, roughing up Enumclaw’s pitching in the first four innings of an 11-2 win at Auburn Mountainview High School. The victory took just 1 hour, 41 minutes and clinched a spot at the state tournament for the Blazers.
“We’re really good mentality-wise right now,” Timberline coach Derek Weldon said. “Our guys have answered the bell in big games. They tend to play better in the bigger situations and relish opportunities at the plate in bigger games.
Timberline (13-5), which clinched its third state berth in four seasons, will face Hazen in a bi-district semifinal at 10 a.m. Saturday at Auburn Mountainview.
Enumclaw grabbed a 2-0 lead against Blazers freshman starter Matt Mercer in the top of the first when Hornets center fielder Tyler Carlton launched a two-run home run. But Timberline answered with runs in each of the first four innings.
After scoring one in the first, Timberline senior Charlie Hinson capped a five-run second inning with a three-run home run to right field to make it 6-2.
An inning later, with the bases loaded for David Padilla, he took a 1-1 pitch off reliever Shayne Sanborn deep into center field for a three-run double to give Timberline a 9-2 advantage. The drive was just short of being a grand slam.
“I thought it was out,” said Padilla, who finished with four RBI.
Enumclaw (10-9), which plays in a loser-out game Saturday, went through four pitchers in five innings.
Mercer, meanwhile, settled down after the first inning. The right-hander gave up only more two hits before exiting after five innings.