Top-ranked Spartans edge nonleague rival Panthers

Staff writerApril 27, 2014 

Continuing an intense baseball rivalry, top-ranked Class 2A Sumner High School got past 3A Bonney Lake, 5-4, on Saturday at Cheney Stadium.

“I don’t think Bonney Lake and Sumner ever need any motivation,” Sumner coach Casey Adcox said. “We played 16 innings with these guys two years ago. ... We just expect this type of game every year.”

This season’s game was a nonleague affair, but next year, the Spartans (14-1) will join the Panthers (10-6) in the 3A South Puget Sound League.

“Too bad I won’t be here next year,” said Bonney Lake senior Taiki Green, who went 3-for-3 with a triple, double and two RBIs. “It’s going to be fun seeing them play three games against each other.”

The teams ended their nonleague rivalry in dramatic fashion Saturday, when the Spartans needed three separate comebacks to finally put away the Panthers. The last one came in the bottom of the seventh, when Sumner tied it on a bases-loaded walk.

Two outs later, with the bases loaded again, Gage Whitehead’s chopper forced Bonney Lake second baseman Nolan Weber to stretch out far enough that he couldn’t make a throw at the plate. The single gave Sumner the win.

“It was just a little chopper. ... It was ugly, but I got it done,” Whitehead said. “He came with a cutter, and it kind of got in on my hands a little bit. ... It was a ball, and I muscled it down to get that hit.”

The first Sumner comeback came in the bottom of the third inning with the Spartans trailing 2-0. Sophomore Josiah Fidecaro drew a one-out walk, and senior Tysen Fischlin stepped up to face reliever Cory Burrill.

Fischlin sent an 0-2 fastball over the right-field fence for a tying homer.

“When I get to two strikes, (Adcox) always tells me to shorten up a little bit,” Fischlin said. “A little bit less is more always, so I just tried to get bat on ball. ... Big things happen.”

Bonney Lake scored in the fourth, and Sumner tied it an inning later.

The Panthers took a 4-3 lead in the sixth, when Green, who tripled on a first-pitch offering from Christian Parsons, scored on a passed ball. It was their final run.

“I think both teams are so deep and so good,” Adcox said. “It’s neat because it’s a celebration of our community, too. These kids grew up playing Little League together. ... You know, most of them love each other, but they want to beat each other, too.”

kevin.manning@ thenewstribune.com

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