Churchill Bulldogs 2-Sherwood Warriors 1 (9)
4A West Regional Semi-Finals
It was, it seemed, the perfect day. Rain clouds that agitated the grounds at Bentley Memorial Field at Sherwood High School for three days prior had finally given way to a sunny sky. Many seniors visited their classes for the last time. The Sherwood Warriors (20-1) had a chance to extend their winning streak to 28 games, a streak that dates back to their 2010 State Championship campaign. The Churchill Bulldogs (10-11) saw it as the perfect day for an upset.
With one out in the top of the ninth inning, a 2-2 count and a runner on third, Churchill rightfielder Matt O’Lone squared his hips and shoulders toward centerfield and laid down a bunt. Churchill’s Hayden Sauders barreled down the third base-line and Sherwood pitcher Jamie Dejter scooped up the ball and glove-flipped to catcher Colin McMahon. As Saunders slid headfirst into homeplate, Dejter’s flip was both high and not in time to nab the runner. O’Lone’s suicide squeeze, gave Churchill a 2-1 lead and eventually, the game and a birth in the 4A West Regional Final.
Behind the arm of Kelby Spring (8 innings, 2 strikeouts, 1 earned run), Churchill did what no other team could do over a span of two years—take down the No. 2 Sherwood Warriors. Spring held the potent Sherwood offense at bay all day long, allowing merely 3 hits and 5 runners to reach base. He was so dominant, he retired 16 Warriors in a row through innings 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8.
He was matched almost pitch by pitch by Sherwood hurler Jamie Dejter (9 innings, 5 Ks, 1 earned run) who had a streak of his own working; sending 20 consecutive Bulldog batters back to the bench.
The Warriors graduate almost their entire starting lineup, the lone exception being junior catcher Colin McMahon. The graduating class departs with two State Championship rings and a No. 2 Washington Post ranking, the best in school history.