Saving his best stuff for last, Tristan Percival was a key cog in Adna’s late-season run from No. 11 seed to 2B state runner-up this spring.
The junior was the definition of dominance on the bump, mowing down batters with ease in the postseason to keep the Pirates in games against each higher-seeded team at the 2B state tournament they upset.
Starting in the 2B District 4 tournament against Pe Ell-Willapa Valley, the Percival finished one out shy of a no-hitter, giving up a hit in the seventh inning while running up against his pitch count. The Pirates won that game, 8-1, in large part thanks to the lefty’s 13 strikeouts, with the one run unearned.
In Percival’s next start at the district tournament against Napavine in a loser-out game, he tossed 15 strikeouts, allowed just two hits, and walked just three in a shutout, 3-0 win to keep Adna’s season alive.
Coming into the state tournament as the No. 11 seed, Percival pitched all but one out of a no-hitter against Cle Elum-Roslyn, striking out 17 with again no runs allowed. And in his finale on the hill in the state semifinals, the junior helped the Pirates defeat Toutle Lake for the first time all season, 5-1, giving up an unearned run on five hits with five strikeouts.
The lefty’s final postseason line was gaudy, finishing with 50 strikeouts in four starts and 28 innings pitched, giving up just eight hits, 10 walks, and two unearned runs. That line, in part, led to Adna’s second-place finish at the tourney.
“It was throwing strikes one game at a time,” Percival said of the state run. “We were an 11-seed going into it, we were supposed to lose. We took it one game at a time and the team did amazing. The seniors did great, I’m so proud of them, but I want to get back there next year and win the whole thing. My team did really well, I’m happy I got to be a part of it.”
Those numbers added on to his regular season numbers make his numbers look even more ridiculous. Percival finished with 121 strikeouts in just over 62 innings pitched, with just 35 walks, an 8-2 record, and a 1.29 ERA.
Add on a .493 batting average, 23 RBIs, nine swiped bases and 26 runs scored, and it’s no wonder Adna was able to make the run it did.
“At the beginning of the year I was a little wild and couldn’t get my curveball up,” Percival said. “But the walks really changed everything. My fastball started cooking a bit, I got some heat on it. I got to Toutle and got tired of throwing it around Zach (Swanson) and all of them. I was just going to throw it at them and if they hit it out I’d tip my cap. That’s really what changed.”
And the junior isn’t done. With a season left to play, and after solid improvement from an all-area season in 2022, the 2023 All-Area MVP will be back in 2024 looking to go all the way with his team after an offseason of work.
“I want to put on a couple more pounds,” Percival said. “I want to hit the ball a little farther and throw the ball a little harder, maybe grow a little bit hopefully, I just need to get better over the summer and help my team win next year. Do it for the town.”
The Chronicle’s All-Area Baseball Team
Ashton Demarest, Napavine
Napavine’s starting catcher drove in 20 runs and scored 33, compiling a .329 batting average. He also took the ball for 47 ⅓ innings on the mound, finishing with a 7-2 record and 50 strikeouts.
Austin Gonia, Tenino
Just a sophomore, Gonia caught every inning of the season for Tenino and finished the year with just two errors to his name. He also hit .400 with 11 doubles and a home run, and drove in 29 RBIs.
Braden Hartley, Rochester
The Yakima Valley College-bound senior reached base more often than he didn’t, hitting .514 with a .647 on-base percentage and a 1.458 OPS, along with eight doubles and 17 RBIs. On the hill, he struck out 56 batters in nine starts.
Danner Hoinowski, Adna
Another stalwart for the Pirates, Hoinowski batted .379 and scored a team-high 28 runs for Adna with 18 RBIs and 11 walks drawn. He wasn’t too shabby on the hill, either, tossing 28 strikeouts over 26 innings pitched.
Conner Holmes, Napavine
Holmes hit .451, logging 23 RBIs and 41 runs scored for the Tigers, drawing 21 walks at the plate. On the mound, he spent the year as Napavine’s first starter in league series, and finished the year on the first-team all-C2BL list.
Garrett Keeton, Pe Ell-Willapa Valley
PWV’s leader both on the hill and at the plate, Keeton only struck out four times all season, while punching out 61 opponents. He finished the year with a .456 batting average, drove in 19 runs, scored 26 more, and stole 11 bases.
Keegan Kolb, Mossyrock
Kolb helped lead the Vikings to the top of the 1B ranks in the area, hitting .458 with 12 walks, 11 RBIs, and 29 runs scored.
Hunter Lutman, W.F. West
The Bearcats’ LCC-bound ace tossed 58 ⅔ innings, striking out 79 and finishing with a 2.39 ERA. He saved his best performances for the 2A state tournament, throwing a six-inning no-hitter in the first round against Port Angeles before allowing just one run to Tumwater in six innings in the semifinals.
Eddie Marson, Tumwater
Taking over at shortstop for Tumwater, Marson led the T-Birds’ starters in batting average (.418), hits (38), RBIs (31), runs scored (31), and stolen bases (nine).
Deacon Meller, W.F. West
Meller’s final act of the season — stealing home with two outs in the bottom of the seventh to give W.F. West a walk-off win in the 2A state third-place game — would probably be enough to put him on this list by itself. The .354 batting average, 11 doubles, 23 RBIs, 34 runs, and 28 stolen bases don’t hurt either.
Alex Overbay, Tumwater
The 2A EvCo MVP delivered in every way possible for the T-Birds in their state title defense, taking over the mantle of ace and delivering with a perfect 8-0 record on the hill, complete with 75 strikeouts, a 0.660 ERA, and a .098 batting average against in 53 innings. At the plate, he hit .388 with a 1.441 OPS, five home runs, and 25 RBIs.
Caiden Schultz, Toledo
Schultz’s season on the mound was cut short due to injury before the postseason truly got going, but not before he compiled a 0.76 ERA and 95 strikeouts in 46 innings. At the plate, he hit two home runs and hit .356 on the season, with 17 RBIs.
Easton Snider, Tenino
One of four seniors on the Tenino roster, Snider helped lead the Beavers back to the state tournament with a torrid stretch to end the season, hitting over .500 in the final month of the spring. He finished the year with a team-high 37 RBIs, while posting a 3-0 record with a 2.30 ERA on the mound.
Brady Sprague, Centralia
The Centralia junior posted a .308 batting average with six doubles and seven stolen bases, all while leading the Tigers on the mound with 36 strikeouts, earning first-team all-EvCo honors in the process.
Mason Ubias, Rochester
Ubias finished the year as Rochester’s most consistent hitter, batting .352 with a team-high 25 runs scored, while also driving 17 in. In the field, he went the entire spring without committing an error in the outfield.