YELM - Thank you very much, Lynden will have another.
On the same day I'll Have Another took another step toward horse racing immortality, the Lions took two giant steps toward their own triple crown.
Following in the footsteps of the Lynden football and boys' basketball teams, which each went on to claim Class 2A state titles earlier in the school year, the baseball team advanced to the state semifinals with a pair of wins in the Yelm regional on Saturday, May 19.
"This is big," senior Fraser Shindruk said. "I can't describe what I'm feeling right now. I'm so excited. We get to try to bring home the trifecta title."
Shindruk played a big part in Lynden getting that opportunity, as he threw a five-hit shutout at one of the top teams in the state during the state quarterfinals, and the Lions used Jordan Kreider's second solo home run of the day to beat Chehalis W.F. West 1-0.
With the win, Lynden (21-4) advanced to the state baseball semifinals on Friday, May 25, at Yakima for the first time since 1998. The Lions finished fourth that year - their only state trophy to this point.
"This is perfect," Lions coach Cory White said. "These kids have worked hard to get to this point, and now they get a chance to do something pretty special."
Earlier in the day, Lynden advanced to the quarterfinals with a 4-3 victory over Kingston in the first round, thanks in part to a pair of solo home runs from Kreider and Josh Kraght.
Lynden got great pitching and defense in both games, as Kreider in the first and Shindruk in the second combined to allow only 11 hits, and both showed great composure making one-run leads stand.
"You want the guys that have put in the work to be the guys you rely on in big situations that can help your team advance to the next level," White said. "Fraser is a guy that has put in that work and he deserved that chance today, and he came up big for us. ... As I've said, Jordan is a guy that I've worked with since he was in eighth grade, and I knew he was another guy that that we wanted to have in position in a big game."
Both would be the first to admit, though, that they couldn't have had the level of success they had on Saturday without the standout play of their defense, which committed only one error in the two games combined.
Particularly impressive in the quarterfinal win was the play of the Lynden outfield. Matt Boulette, Luke Christianson and Shane Treloar ran down everything that was within their reach and even a few balls that wouldn't have been for most outfielders. Treloar even made a diving catch in right field to end the sixth inning and caught up to a fly ball in foul territory in the second. Boulette had a nice running catch in the fourth.
Christianson, who White said lost nearly 12 pounds this week while suffering from a throat infection, also made a beautiful running catch at the warning track for the first out of the seventh inning on a ball that seemed destined for extra bases.
"Luke really gutted this one out, and that was big for us," Shindruk said. "Our outfield has a lot of speed, and I knew I could rely on them to make the plays for us. They really came through for us."
They needed to be good, as it took a while for the Lions' offense to get going.
Chehalis starter Brady Calkins, who picked up the save in the Bearcats' first-round win over Bellingham earlier in the day, was perfect through the first four innings.
But for the second time of the day, Kreider took a first-pitch fastball over the left-field fence for a leadoff home run to start off the fifth and gave Lynden the lead.
"That was huge for us," Shindruk said. "I think we were starting to worry a little bit, and that gave us a huge boost. It gave us the lead, and we had confidence that we could get more runs and hold on to the lead."
The Lions had a chance to add an insurance run in the sixth, when Shindruk reached on an error and advanced to third on another on Brandon Davis' sacrifice bunt. But Davis was thrown out when he rounded second by too much on the play. Lynden was unable to bring courtesy runner Tyler Clausen the final 90 feet to double Lynden's advantage.
But Shindruk made the one-run lead stand, even though he walked two in the sixth - one of which he was able to pick off - and allowed a one-out hit in the seventh. Shindruk picked up his fourth strikeout of the game, setting down Michael Forgione on four pitches to secure the win and start a raucous celebration for the Lions.
In the first-round win over Kingston, Kreider waited until the seventh inning to pick up his first strikeout, but the timing was perfect, as Lynden was clinging to a one-run lead.
After getting Mikole Hendricks looking, he proceeded to sit down Chandler Setterlund watching before getting Beau Rabedeaux to swing at strike three to clinch the victory.
"My defense was making plays behind me," Kreider said. "I knew I didn't need to strike guys out, because my guys took care of things. What did we have, one error today? But in that seventh, the adrenaline was pumping, so I gassed it up and got it by a couple of guys."
The adrenaline may have been pumping a little too hard early, as Kreider struggled in the first, allowing a leadoff triple to Setterlund, before walking Rabedeaux. The Buccaneers duo then worked the double steal to perfection to put Kingston up 1-0.
But Kreider got that run back on Richard Sandler's first offering of the second inning, depositing the fastball over the left-field fence to tie it up.
"When they got that one-run lead, it caught us off guard a little bit," Kreider said. "I just tried to relax after that, and I got a good pitch to hit. After that, we settled down, and we started to hit the ball pretty hard."
Really, hard, actually, as Kraght hit a full-count pitch over the right-field fence to give Lynden a 2-1 advantage in the third.
The Lions stretched that lead to three runs in the fourth, when Shindruk's two-out single scored Tanner Olson from second base, before Shindruk stole second and scored on Davis' single.
Kingston made things interesting with two runs in the bottom of the fourth, but the Buccaneers could not push across a tying run, despite getting a leadoff single in the fifth and one-out walk in the sixth.
Reach David Rasbach at email@example.com or 360-715-2271.
LYNDEN 4, KINGSTON 3
Lynden 011 200 0 -- 4 9 1
Kingston 100 200 0 -- 3 6 1
WP: Jordan Kreider (9-2). LP: Richard Sandler. Highlights: Lynden: Luke Christianson 1-4, 2B; Josh Kraght 1-3, HR; Matt Meyer 1-3, 2B; Jordan Kreider 1-3, HR, Tanner Olson, 1-3, 2B, R; Matt Boulette 1-3, Fraser Shindruk 1-3, R, RBI, SB; Brandon Davis 2-3, RBI. Kingston: Chandler Setterlund 2-4, 3B, R, SB; Joshua Decoteau-McLeod 1-3, R, RBI; Ethan Syverson 2-3, 2B, RBI.
LYNDEN 1, W.F. WEST 0
Lynden 000 010 0 -- 1 2 0
Chehalis 000 000 0 -- 0 5 2
WP: Frasier Shindruk (6-0). LP: Brady Calkins. Highlights: Lynden: Jordan Kreider 1-3, HR; Zach Vis 1-3. W.F. West: Tanner Gueller 2-3, Mitch Gueller 1-3, Keylen Steen 1-3, Dugan Shirer 1-3.