Corbin Stearns had only one hit in the championship game at Deer Park last Sunday, but it was the most important hit of the contest. Stearns’ double in the bottom of the sixth inning rolled all the way to the left-field fence, scoring Josh Piepgras from second base for a 5-4 Chewelah win at the Settler’s Day Wood Bat Tournament.
With one out and the score tied at 4-4, Piepgras had been walked, putting the winning run aboard for the Cougars. Stearns then hit a 2-and-2 pitch for the walk-off double to defeat the host Tri-County Tigers.
The win earned Chewelah the tournament championship and extended the Cougar winning streak to 10 straight games. They went undefeated the previous weekend to capture the Orofino tournament championship trophy.
“Strong pitching and scrappy offensive play have helped the streak stay alive,” said Coach Dan Macrae.
Chewelah trailed 4-2 going into the fifth inning. Kruz Katzer walked and James Macrae hit a bunt single to give the Cougars a pair of base runners. Katzer came home on a pitch that got past the catcher and Macrae was batted in by Coby Rancourt to knot the score at 4-4 with one inning to play.
The Cougars scored their first two runs in the third inning. Clayton Jeanneret singled and was batted in by Macrae’s double. Andrew Sweat’s single moved Macrae to third base, and a double by Rancourt brought him home. Macrae went 3-for-3 and scored two runs. Zach Bowman, Rancourt, and Piepgras each had two hits. Sweat threw the last three innings, allowing no runs, to earn the pitching win.
Chewelah 7, Post Falls 2
Earlier in the day, Chewelah used a five-run third inning to defeat Post Falls 7-2 in the semifinal round of the tournament. Behind 2-0, the Cougars got hits from Stearns, Jeanneret, Macrae and Sweat to take over the lead, 5-2.
Bowman and Katzer both singled and scored in the sixth inning, widening the Chewelah lead to 7-2.
Bowman went 2-for-3 for the Cougars. Macrae, Sweat, and Stearns hit doubles. Bowman and Sweat split time on the mound, both throwing three innings. They allowed two runs on four hits and struck out 12 Post Falls batters.
Chewelah 4, Spokane Valley 1
In Saturday evening’s game, Chewelah scored four early runs in the first inning and held on to beat the Spokane Valley Titans by a 4-1 score.
Singles by Katzer, Macrae, and Piepgras did the damage. Macrae and Piepgras each batted in two runs.
Bowman, Rancourt, Macrae, and Will Frizzell threw a combined one-hitter, with the lone Titan hit coming in the final inning.
Chewelah 8, Castlegar 2
Chewelah started Saturday morning’s action with an 8-2 victory over Castlegar, B.C. with a blend of strong hitting, fielding, and pitching.
The score was tied at one run each going into the fourth inning when the Cougars woke up their bats and started to pound the ball.
A single by Bowman triggered a two-run rally. Sweat’s double up the middle scored Bowman to give Chewelah a 2-1 lead. A single over second base by Rancourt then scored Sweat to make it 3-1.
The Cougar hitting streak continued into the sixth at-bat, bringing home five more Chewelah runs. Singles from Piepgras, Jeanneret, and Macrae, along with Sweat’s second double of the game, widened the Cougar lead to 8-1.
Castlegar added another run in the top of the sixth inning to make the final score 8-2.
Katzer and Macrae teamed-up to score the first Chewelah run in the opening inning. Katzer’s double was immediately followed by Macrae’s RBI single.
Macrae threw the first three innings, striking out four batters.Rancourt took over on the mound and recorded five strikeouts.
Chewelah 2, Post Falls 1
Chewelah played its first game of the tournament on Friday night with Bowman and Sweat winning a pitchers’ duel.
The game included only four hits, three by the Cougars and one by Post Falls. The big hit for Chewelah was a double in the opening inning by Rancourt that scored two runs.
Bowman singled in the third inning and hit a single in the fifth.
Together, Bowman and Sweat threw a one-hitter, striking out 13 Post Falls batters.
Chewelah will compete in its final tournament of the summer in Colville next weekend during Rendezvous, where the Cougars intend to extend their 10-game winning streak.
By Geno Ludwig/The Independent Staff (Photos by Tamara Bowman)