Dayton loses state title to Rainier
CORVALLIS — The Dayton Pirates lost 9-3 to the Rainier Columbians in Friday’s 3A state championship game on the campus of Oregon State University.
The Pirates (24-4) began the afternoon by putting the pressure on the Columbians (27-3) by taking a quick 2-0 lead despite a large and vocally dominant Rainier crowd.
Dayton’s youth became exposed in the later innings. It committed five total errors, which resulted in five late Columbian runs.
“We got good experience,” Dayton coach Rob Umbenhower said. “We’re happy to be here. You’re looking at sophomores, freshmen and juniors, one senior. We’ll be back.”
Umbenhower said he tried to turn the heartbreaking loss into a positive for his team.
“How many teams are at home looking and wishing they could be here?” Umbenhower said. “No one wants to be on this side, but at the beginning everyone wants to be here.”
In the early going it was the Pirates who looked to be too much for Rainier. Sydney Van Noy led off the bottom of the first inning with a single, moved to second on a wild pitch, stole third and the throw to try to pick her off at third went wide, allowing her to score for the 1-0 lead.
Van Noy led off the third inning with a double, moved to third on a bunt by Cooper Ringnalda and Cassi Hill hit into a fielder’s choice to score Van Noy for the 2-0 lead.
“With the people we have and the talent we have coming in, we’ll come back stronger than ever,” an emotional Van Noy said. “We decided right now, after the game, that we’re going to be right back here next year.”
Rainier tied the game at two in the fourth inning on an error and a sacrifice RBI from Hydee Coffman. The Columbians got the go-ahead runs on a two RBI single by Sarah Probasco in the fifth inning for the 4-2 lead.
Dayton narrowed the gap in the bottom of the fifth inning. Teddi Hop led the inning off with an infield single and Van Noy followed that with a fielder’s choice that got Hop out at third, but the out allowed Van Noy to reach second.
Ringnalda hit a single back up the middle to score Van Noy to cut the Rainier lead to 4-3. The errors for the Pirates began to accumulate in the sixth inning. Two infield errors allowed five Columbian base runners to cross home plate to cushion Rainier’s lead to 9-3.
Rainier senior pitcher Kylee Crape struck out 11 Pirate hitters, allowed seven hits and no walks in the win. Dayton’s lone senior starter, Jamie Chenea, took the loss in her final game in a Dayton uniform. Chenea struck out four Columbian hitters, allowed 10 hits and two walks.
“We’re young, we’ll be back,” Umbenhower said. “I’ve only got one senior that’s played the whole season that started. The other two seniors on the roster were out most of the season for medical reasons. We’re young. We’ll be back.”
As an equally young team last season, the Pirates surpassed expectations placed on their youth by making the 3A state semifinals. Dayton lost 10-5 in the semifinals vs. Blanchet Catholic.
With its appearance in the 2013 3A state championship game, the Pirates were in the state championship game for the fourth time in school history and first since 2005.