LEWISTON — The Burley Green Sox continued their magical postseason run on Friday night.
Down to their last out, the Green Sox rallied to force a tie and send the game into extra innings. One inning later, Burley celebrated a 5-4 walkoff win over the Dimond (Alaska) Lynx in the first round of the Northwest Class A Regional Tournament.
“It’s just survive and advance,” Burley coach Devin Kunz said over the phone. “This is the last weekend, and we’re just trying to get to tomorrow.”
Dimond built a 3-0 lead through 3 1/2 innings on a day that reached 111 degrees in Lewiston, according to Kunz. Each team traded runs in the fourth and fifth, and the score remained 4-2 going into the bottom of the seventh.
The Green Sox loaded the bases with no outs in the seventh, but the situation quickly became runners on second and third with two gone. With Izaak Macias at the plate, Kunz called for a suicide squeeze, but the pitch was in the dirt and Macias couldn’t reach it. The runner at third base, Beau Phipps, was easily retired on the play.
“I panicked a little bit,” Kunz said. “I screwed up.”
Macias struck out a couple pitches later for the second out, bringing Easton Watterson to the plate. Burley’s leadoff hitter grounded a ball to Dimond’s shortstop, who committed an error that allowed both runners to score. The scoring ended there and the game went into extras.
“Easton came up big,” Kunz said. “I went and thanked him for picking me up.”
Slayder Watterson, Easton’s brother, retired all three batters he faced in the top of the eighth. The Lynx didn’t record an out in the bottom half.
Andrew Ferrin drew a leadoff walk, and Garrett Tracy was walked intentionally to put the winning run in scoring position. Kody Condie came up next and drilled a single to right field. Ferrin scored standing up.
Condie went 2-for-3 with a walk, Carson Noble went 1-for-2 with a walk and two stolen bases and Ferrin went 1-for-3.
The win was Burley’s second in walkoff fashion this postseason. The Green Sox also walked off against Coeur d’Alene in last week’s state tournament, which they won thanks to a 9-8 win over Rocky Mountain. Burley trailed 8-2 in that state title game, and it needed 14 innings against the Twin Falls Blackhawks just reach the state tournament.
Since last week, Kunz has wondered how much energy his players have left. Once again, they proved to have enough, even with their backs firmly against the wall.
“I wouldn’t bet against us right now,” Kunz said. “It doesn’t make sense, but I wouldn’t bet against us.”
The Green Sox (33-15) will face the Glacier Twins, the Montana state champions, on Saturday at 4 p.m. local time (5 p.m. MT). Ferrin will be Burley’s starting pitcher.