OTHELLO – The Ephrata Tigers baseball used a late-inning offensive barrage to defeat the Othello Huskies 8-2 Tuesday night.
They maintain a tie with Quincy for fourth place in the Central Washington Athletic Conference standings.
Othello jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning when two Ephrata fielding errors set up an RBI double from designated hitter Jay Rodriguez.
The Tigers’ offense was sluggish through the first three innings, managing just three hits, but began finding runs in the fourth.
After starting pitcher Gunnar Falstad was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning, third baseman Bryce Davis singled, setting the table for a two-run double by second basemen Parker Ball to take the lead.
Ephrata extended their lead to 3-1 in the fifth after shortstop Zac Berryman drew a walk and later scored on an RBI single from right fielder Cole Spencer.
The Tigers plated two more runs in the sixth on back-to-back RBI doubles from Berryman and Ethan Etter, and though Othello tacked on a run in the seventh. Ephrata added three runs in the last half to win.
Berryman, Ball and centerfielder Joey Mihelich all had RBI base hits in the victory. Gunnar Falstad went four-and-one-third innings to take the win for Ephrata, giving up no earned runs on four hits with four strikeouts and a walk.
The victory, combined with Quincy’s 11-1 rout of Grandview Tuesday night, keeps the two teams tied for the fourth seed in the Central Washington Athletic Conference playoff race. The loss drops Othello back to fifth place in the division.
The Tigers face off with the Jackrabbits in the regular season finale doubleheader on Saturday at Quincy High School starting at 11 a.m.
Othello finishes on the road Saturday with a doubleheader against the second place Ellensburg Bulldogs.
With the top six finishers in the division move on to the playoffs starting in late May, Five teams, East Valley, Ephrata, Quincy, Othello, and Prosser are within a game of one another for the final four positions in the playoff chase.
An Ephrata sweep of Quincy on Saturday, coupled with East Valley losing one of their two games at Prosser, would make the Tigers the three seed and could face Othello or Prosser in the opening round play-in game. The winner would then play top-seeded Selah for the chance to move on to the 2A District tournament.
If Ephrata splits their doubleheader with Quincy and East Valley sweeps Prosser, the Jackrabbits would be the fourth seed based on winning the preseason coin-flip tiebreaker.
The two teams would meet again in the play-in round on May 4 for the chance to play Ellensburg, with the winner of that game moving on to the district tournament.