A perfect season in a myriad of ways culminated with the Class 4A state baseball championship for the Puyallup Vikings.
Puyallup completed an undefeated 28-0 season with a convincing 7-1 victory against the South Kitsap Wolves (22-6) in the Class 4A state championship game on May 31 at Gesa Stadium in Pasco. Puyallup senior right-handed starting pitcher Lane Griffin got the win, allowing just five hits and one run in six innings of work. Puyallup head coach Marc Wiese said it was Griffin’s best performance of the 2014 season.
“Lane just got better and better every single game,” Wiese said. “He came out with confidence and just rose to the occasion. You could see a dude develop in front of your eyes. He is going to be special in the years to come. He hit 93 (miles per hour) a couple of times. He threw 90 pitches, and of those 85 were fastballs. He was bringing the heat.”
The Vikings exploded for five runs in the bottom of the third inning, extending their lead to 7-0. Tyler McDowell finished the game with 2 RBI, while Levi Jordan and Darian Clemens had an RBI apiece. Puyallup took advantage of South Kitsap’s four errors in the contest.
“When this team has a 7-0 lead, it’s lights out,” Wiese said.
The Vikings, who suffered heartbreaking defeats in the state championship game in 2009 and 2012, finally got over the proverbial hurdle that was standing in their way.
“We have been waiting for this for a long time. We finally got the monkey off our back,” Wiese said. “It was well worth the wait. With everything that happened this year, we just knew (a state title) was going to happen. You could just feel it. It is pretty awesome. These guys had a goal of going 28-0 and winning the state championship. They refused to lose and when the cards were down. They played with a sense of calmness and a sense of peace. The feeling is just indescribable.” The moments following the victory is something Wiese will never forget.
“There was a lot of happiness, smiles and some tears shed in the locker room after the game. Everyone was so pumped up. It was a great celebration,” he said. “We had tremendous support in Pasco from our fans. To celebrate the championship with the entire Vikings family was amazing.”