EvCC Succumbs to Lower Columbia College in NWAC Baseball Finals


Adrianna Vison-Montgomery

The Trojan baseball team comes together in a huddle before a regular season double header played at Funko Field. Despite winning an NWAC North Division Title for a third consecutive season and making a third appearance to a final in the last four years, the Trojans couldn’t overcome Lower Columbia in the NWAC Baseball Championships, finishing as runners-up in the tournament.

The Trojans Baseball Team returned for the third appearance in the NWAC Championship Baseball Final in four years. Throughout the tournament, which took place from May 23-27, the Trojans had set themselves up to be a potential finalist in the championship, playing terrific baseball in their four games leading up to the final.

But the team that played well throughout the entire tournament wasn’t crowned the champion. Everett lost to Lower Columbia College who took their third consecutive NWAC Championship in four years.

Trojans Head Coach, Jojo Howie, sent right-handed pitcher, Bryce Allen, to be the starting pitcher for the first game. Allen struggled pitching two and two-thirds innings giving up 5 runs 3 were unearned. The Trojans tied the game up in the bottom of the second at 2-2 and it was the only time the Trojans saw the lead. Lower Columbia would score 5 more runs winning the first game 10-2. It was the first loss the Trojans had all tournament.

With the tournament format set in double elimination form, a second game would be played to determine the winner. Everett coming through the winners bracket needed to win only one game while Lower Columbia coming through the losers bracket would have to win both games of the final to become the champions.

Jojo Howie decided to start sophomore right-handed pitcher Gabe Smith for the second game. For Smith, it was only his seventh appearance all season and his first start. His 6 appearances all as a relief pitcher in conference play.

Smith held Lower Columbia scoreless through three innings. In the fourth inning, Colin Floyd singled then advanced to second on a wild pitch. GJ Hurst grounded out to second base on a fielder’s choice which moved Floyd to third base. Drew Barlow was hit by a pitch which put runners at the corners. Lower Columbia’s catcher, Zach Threlfall hit an RBI single which put Lower Columbia in the leads 1-0. They would score one more run in the sixth inning making it 2-0. Smith would leave the game after pitching six innings giving up two runs both earned.

Despite Smith’s strong start EvCC failed to bring runners home. The Trojans last came in the bottom of the ninth inning. After left fielder Tyler McClain grounded for the first out, third baseman Charlie Larson singled. Then Trojans center fielder Scott Linscott doubled and the hit moved the runners to second and third base. The tying run was 180 feet away.

But it just wasn’t to be. Staying alive with a 1-2 count Trojans second baseman Austin Hauck hit a line drive right to Lower Columbia Third baseman who made the unassisted double play catching the ball for the second out and going back to step on the base for the third and final out. The play happened so quickly that the umpires put the play under video review. From the video broadcast on NWAC’s Youtube Channel it looked like both Larson, the base runner,  who dived back to third base head-first touching the base with his right hand and Barlow the third baseman who stepped on the bag with his left foot reached the base at the same time.

The call, unfortunately, was upheld. After reaching the NWAC baseball finals for a third time in four years, Everett fell short of winning a championship.