There’s something to be said about a team that can not only pick up late inning wins over league and city rivals, but to do it on back-to-back days to win league titles — that says something else entirely.
Puyallup (13-2, 10-1) just experienced one of the program’s most magical weeks after Brendan Illies laced walk-off hits in back-to-back games to help Puyallup pick up wins over Emerald Ridge (April 20) and Rogers (April 21) — both 3-2 victories.
"(For our) our defense to give us a chance in the first place says a lot about the job they’ve done," Illies said. "I just happened to come up to bat in those moments."
Good thing Illies did come up to bat, as his knock against the Rams secured Puyallup the SPSL South title.
"We expect it (the win)," Illies said. "(Marc) Wiese has instilled in us that expect to fight the whole game … I was calm in those situations because I knew the guys after me would get the job done."
To be able to add another league title to his long list of championships won is always a great feeling for Puyallup coach Marc Wiese.
"It’s been a good week," Wiese said. "We knew we had to face three aces coming into the week, and we were able to win them all. It’s a great feeling to win the league title — yeah, it’s been a good week."
But to win it in such a manner must be a greater one as it becomes a testament to what he has helped usher into Puyallup baseball. Success is never easy — it takes a lot of trust and effort in a collective to triumph in baseball.
"I think that (Illies walk-offs) is owed a little bit to our success," Wiese said. "We have four-year starters who’ve played a lot of big games for this team … a moment like those comes from the experience of playing types of games."
With only Monday’s game against Spanaway Lake (4-12, 1-9) left on the schedule, the Vikings can go forward with the chance to make May count.
It’s playoff baseball and Puyallup has a Class 4A title to defend.
"To get in to the playoffs the right way is what we wanted to do," Illies said. "It’s almost a surreal moment, but hopefully we have a long way to go. We just all want to have fun the rest of the way."