Adna overcomes slow start to return to Ephrata


Adna’s state tournament run was nearly over as soon as it began.

After just half an inning into its state quarterfinal against Northwest Christian, the Pirates were facing a 6-0 deficit.

“The first inning just really cascaded,” Adna coach Jake Overbay said. “We had just a quick discussion, just ‘hey, this is our opportunity and we need to respond.’”

The Pirates did just that, scoring five in the bottom half to get back within one.

“Getting five back right away was a huge sigh of relief,” Overbay said.

The Pirates eventually got the sixth back and more, as they defeated the Crusaders 9-8 on Saturday to book their ticket back to Ephrata and the 2B Final Four.

“They performed like men today where they really grew up and showed they could handle the pressure,” Overbay said. “They just really stepped up and performed … The boys stayed strong and came out on top.”

Each of the first three Pirates reached base to open the bottom of the first, setting the stage for an early comeback.

Beau Miller brought the first run home with an RBI fielder’s choice, and Owen Fagernes followed with an RBI single. A Cameron Nakano sacrifice fly, Naillon Ramirez RBI single, and Reid Caviness steal of home later, the Pirates were only down one.

““They were almost disappointed they didn’t get it back to six,” Overbay joked.

The score remained the same until the fourth, when Tristan Percival tied the game with an RBI double and Danner Hoinowski gave the Pirates the lead with a sacrifice fly.

Over the next inning and a half, the Pirates and Crusaders traded runs. Northwest Christian tied the game in the top of the fifth, only for Mat Roundtree to give the Pirates the lead right back with an RBI single. The Crusaders again tied the game in the top of the sixth.

In the bottom of the sixth, Fagernes drilled a sharp ground ball to the left side, and with some help from the infield, the ball found its way into the outfield to bring home the go-ahead run.

Overbay said that the Pirates focus on hitting the ball hard on the ground, as the Adna infield has been known to induce funky hops every now and then.

“We had a guy at second creating that opportunity,” Overbay said. “And we knew it was one of those things where if we put the ball on the ground, it would give us a chance.”

Hoinowski set the Crusaders down 1-2-3 in the top of the seventh, and the Pirates rejoiced in the infield grass.

“You could see the emotions after the game,” Overbay said. “It was a sigh of relief for all of us … As soon as we won, it was like ‘yes, we get this opportunity again.’”

The road won’t get any easier for the Pirates. To get back to the state championship game, they’ll have to beat Tri-Cities Prep, the team that defeated them in the state title game last spring, on Friday in Ephrata.

A win there would pin them against either River View or C2BL foe Toutle Lake, who they bested in last year’s semifinals, in the state title game on Saturday.

“Today was a good spark for the team,” Overbay said. “And I hope it leads into two more great games.”