Injuries limited Timberline’s Layton Wagner on the mound this season. But the sophomore made up for lost time Thursday, leading Timberline to an 11-0, six-inning victory over Madison in the first round of the 5A state tournament at Borah High.
Making his third start of the season, Wagner held Madison to two hits through 5 ⅔ scoreless innings. Joe Sullivan closed out the game as Timberline got every player into the game, keeping Wagner from his third complete-game shutout of the season.
“He was locating three different pitches for strikes,” Timberline coach Jeff Reifman said. “He was working ahead of hitters and could throw any one of his pitches for strikes at any point in any count.”
Timberline (20-7) struggled to find the clutch hit in the first two innings, stranding three runners in scoring position. But the Wolves broke through in the third inning when a pair of bloop singles from Connor Riddle and Jonah Hultberg put Timberline on the board and opened the gates for a 14-hit afternoon.
Riddle said that once Timberline realized Madison ace Matt Bollingbroke couldn’t locate his curveball, the Wolves waited for the fastball. Timberline batted around in the third inning to score four runs, then batted around again in the sixth for five more to invoke the mercy rule.
Timberline advances to the state semifinals for the second time in three years, where it will face Capital.
“We’ve been telling ourselves we can win this thing the whole year,” said Riddle, who went 3-for-4 with two doubles. “But we’re changing our mindset to we will, we will win this. I know I believe, I know all my teammates believe and our coaches believe.”
TIMBERLINE 11, MADISON 0 (6)
Timberline (20-7) — Hitters: Connor Riddle 3-4 (2 2Bs, RBI), Jonah Hultberg 3-4 (3 RBIs), Alex McFarland-Smith 2-3 (2B, RBI), Ayden Callahan 3-3 (RBI), Matt Stefanic 3-3. Pitchers: Layton Wagner (W) 5.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 5 BB, 2 K; Joe Sullivan 0.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K.
Madison (14-11) — Hitters: Cyson Orr 1-3, Devan Berry 1-2. Pitchers: Matt Bolinbroke (L) 4.2 IP, 11 H, 6 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 2 K; Ryan Perkes 1.1 IP, 3 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 3 BB, 1 K.