Timberline wins District Three's 6th straight 5A baseball title

ccripe@idahostatesman.comMay 19, 2013 

— Timberline High's Cody Price had a specific vision of how he wanted his senior baseball season to end.

At the bottom of a dogpile.

Price pitched four scoreless innings Saturday night at Memorial Stadium to close out the Wolves' 6-2 victory over Coeur d'Alene - District Three's sixth straight state championship and Timberline's fifth in program history.

"This is what I've dreamed of - pitching in the state championship game and getting dogpiled on," Price said. "It's great."

The Wolves, who were the seventh seed going into the District Three tournament after a 1-7 start in league play, went 6-0 in the postseason to sweep the district and state championships.

It was the 10th high school title for coach Larry Price, who also won five at Boise.

“With where we came from and how everybody else doubted us and we were not very well respected as far as a team that could compete,” Larry Price said, “it’s the proudest I’ve ever been as a player, as a coach, in my life.”

Three Timberline pitchers limited Coeur d’Alene’s powerful offense to two first-inning runs and seven hits. The Vikings (21-6) scored 20 runs in the state semifinals Friday and 25 in their district final.

“We hit some balls really hard tonight and we hit some balls deep,” Coeur d’Alene coach Nick Rook said, “… and we hit it right at them.”

Timberline made all of those plays — finishing error-free. Sophomore first baseman Zack Wagner saved two potential errors with terrific plays on poor throws and sophomore relief pitcher Brian Ulrickson made a diving catch on a bunt by the first batter he faced.

The outfield was rock solid, too.

“At the beginning of the year, we were making four to six/seven errors a game and we just didn’t have it figured out,” Larry Price said.

Wagner and Ulrickson highlighted a terrific effort by Timberline’s underclassmen. Five started and as many as six were in the lineup at one point. Freshman third baseman Parker Price — he and Cody are the coach’s sons — was 3-for-4 with an RBI on a safety-squeeze bunt. Junior second baseman Michael Stefanic reached base four times and drove in a run. Freshman left fielder Ryan Kim also reached four times and drove in an insurance run in the sixth.

“I’ve seen so many state championships where kids will just pucker up and let the moment get the best of them,” Cody Price said. “And our underclassmen did the opposite — they thrived.”

Both teams scored two runs in the first. The Wolves (17-11) seized control with three in the fourth, keyed by Parker’s bunt and Cody’s RBI double that slipped out of the glove of a diving outfielder.

Cody took the mound immediately after that rally. He wasn’t happy when his dad didn’t let him start the final, but there was no doubt he would be the guy on the mound when the game ended. He was on Timberline’s 2010 title team, too.

“It means so much,” said Cody, who is in his fourth year on varsity but second as a starting pitcher. “I remember my freshman year this same feeling and just hoping and praying I could get one more. And we did. We got it done tonight. It’s a great feeling.”

He also remembers earlier this season when the Wolves were spiraling toward the first losing season of his dad’s career.

“I can remember just standing out on our field with the lights on, just banging our heads together: ‘What are we doing? We need to turn this thing around,’ ” he said. “We did. And gosh, it’s just been a journey that I’ll never forget.”

Idaho Statesman is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service