Logan Gerling spiked his hat against the mound at Safeco Field and pumped his fists as the Tides’ dugout buzzed.
One out away from a state championship, Gerling eyed Southridge’s Lane Hailey, who stood roughly 60 feet away at home plate. Three pitches later, Gerling and the rest of Gig Harbor’s baseball team were in a dogpile near the first-base line. Gig Harbor’s 5-1 victory against the Suns on Saturday gave the Tides their first state championship in 20 years.
Gig Harbor coach Pete Jansen emphasized the importance of quality pitching after the game, noting he has three No. 1 pitchers on the roster.
“Logan loves to close,” Jansen said. “When he went out, he was hyperventilating. All three of these guys probably had one bad outing all year long … That’s a special group of kids out there.”
Gerling slammed the door shut on the Suns, but not before Patrick Fredrickson did his best to leave it barely cracked open. Fredrickson held Southridge’s lineup in check, keeping them off the scoreboard after giving up a run in the first inning.
The lone run Fredrickson allowed came when a ground ball hit his left foot and careened toward the third-base line.
Fredrickson struck out two throughout his outing, which concluded in the top of the seventh after he issued a four-pitch walk.
Ahead 2-0, the Tides padded their lead with three runs — all with two outs — in the fifth inning.
Cameron Brooks reached base after an error, and Johnny Schmidt was walked, putting Brooks in scoring position. Three batters later, Wyatt Hull, Southridge’s starting pitcher, hit Tanner Hardy with a pitch with the bases loaded, giving the Tides another run. Cameron MacIntosh followed with a two-RBI single, pushing Gig Harbor’s lead to 5-1.
“I was talking with the guys, and we didn’t really feel as nervous this morning as we did yesterday morning,” MacIntosh said. “We got through the experience, and today we just kinda chilled. Whatever happens happens, and just go out and play ball.”
The Tides’ roster will undoubtedly look drastically different next year. All 12 seniors who helped the Tides reach this stage will be gone, many of which will continue to play in college. Fredrickson, a Minnesota baseball commit, said the journey to a national title with his teammates is one he’ll never forget.
“We’ve been playing forever,” Fredrickson said. “We’ve been playing since Little League all together, and that really helped us bond. We just grew as teammates, and it paid off.”