Sumner will take its do-over.
The Bonney Lake High School baseball team did anything and everything it wanted. Dominate on the mound, in the batter’s box and in the field – all culminating in a 10-0 victory over Sumner on Monday at Bonney Lake High School to tie the Spartans atop the 3A South Puget Sound League standings.
And it only took five innings.
“We stepped on the gas pedal and didn’t let off,” Bonney Lake junior third baseman Robby Pogue said. “We just brought the energy from the first pitch.”
Bonney Lake senior pitcher Zac Horne, a Lower Columbia College commit, struck out 10 batters and allowed two hits in those five innings. He’s allowed only two earned runs in 45 innings pitched this season.
Sophomore shortstop Matthew Gretler ended it with a walk-off two-run home run on the first pitch he saw in the bottom of the fifth. It was a fastball over the plate away.
Who cares that it wasn’t in the bottom of the seventh of a tight ball game.
“I think the last time I did that was Little League,” Gretler said. “That was special, especially against those guys.”
To think Sumner could have clinched the league title with a win.
Sumner hadn’t lost to Bonney Lake – both members of the Sumner School District – since a 14-inning nonleague thriller on March 19, of 2012.
Fortunately for the Spartans (14-4; 11-2 3A SPSL) they’ll get one more crack at the 3A SPSL title at 4 p.m. Tuesday on their home field in the final regular season game of the season. Only if they lose that one, the league title goes to Bonney Lake (15-4; 11-2 3A SPSL).
“It’s a pride thing for us,” Sumner coach Casey Adcox said. “I think they were a little embarrassed.
“We know what they can do. Their coach does a great job of getting those guys ready. Normally we can match that, we just didn’t do it tonight.”
Bonney Lake was coming off its first league loss of the season last week, a 5-2 defeat at Peninsula. Then fell to Auburn Mountainview, 5-4, to fall to second place behind Sumner in the league standings.
But it opened with two runs in the first inning and another in the second before breaking out with a five-run fourth inning fueled by a couple walk, a passed ball, three errors, Pogue’s RBI single and Tyler McClain’s double off the wall.
Horne kept doing his thing – he struck out three Sumner batters in the top of the fifth before Gretler ended it with the two-run home run.
Horne was Bonney Lake’s No. 3 pitcher last year. But he’s given the Panthers a reliable ace this season. He said his slider was most working on Tuesday, mixing it with his changeup and a deceptive fastball.
“I felt like this was our biggest game this year so far and I needed to give my best effort,” Horne said. “I was feeling pretty good.”
“When Zac pitches, we just play at a different level and energy,” Olson said. “Last year there just wasn’t room for him (in the starting rotation). … We knew he was good. I just don’t think anybody knew he was this good.”
Olson laughed as some of his players shuffled (possibly danced?) to the tune of Ghost Town DJs “My Boo” while they raked the mound.
“This was fun,” he said of the game.
He said he plans to start senior Kyle Muller for Tuesday’s game. Adcox said Sumner will go with Preston Fullington, who is 7-0 with a 0.42 ERA in 33 2/3 innings pitched this season.
“The loss to Peninsula last week I think kind of opened our eyes to ‘Oh, we can’t just show up and win and find a way to pull it out,’ which we had been doing,” Olson said. “We’ve been kind of up and down with our intensity all year. But we really brought it in all facets today.
“I don’t expect a letdown at all, but I expect (Sumner) to give us their best shot right away. We got to be able to handle it.”
TJ Cotterill: 253-597-8677