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Puyallup holds off Skyline 3-1, nabs 4A championship berth behind ace Adam Brooks' gutsy complete game

Puyallup's ace battled back spasms through a complete game start — for the second week in a row to send the No. 2 Vikings to Saturday's title

PASCO, Wash. — As Adam Brooks’ back loosened up on Friday morning, he laid down one brick after another to pave Puyallup’s road to the Class 4A state title game.

The two-seeded Vikings scored three runs in the first inning, then Brooks and the Puyallup defense held on the rest of the way to beat 12-seeded Skyline 3-1 in the state semifinals at Gesa Stadium.

The win sends the Vikings to the 4A state championship for the first time since 2017. In their fifth championship appearance, Puyallup will face the winner of Richland and Olympia Saturday at 4 p.m. for the chance at their third state title.

"You’ve just go to find a way to win the first one,” Puyallup coach Marc Wiese said.

Brooks, a left-handed Northwest Nazarene commit and Puyallup’s No. 1 arm, was sidelined for the district title, and battled through back spasms in a complete game shutout 6-0 win over Bothell in the first regional round last weekend. On Friday, he went the complete game with three strikeouts, no earned or walks and five hits allowed.

(MORE: Washington high school baseball playoff scores, brackets: 2022 state semifinal live updates, results, how to watch)

“I was taking practices really light preparing for this weekend,” Brooks said. 

After giving up two hits in the first inning, he went the next five without one. Wiese said he started to see Brooks’ velocity tick up by the third inning.

“We were thinking, I wasn’t sure if he was going to finish,” Wiese said. “I told my assistants ‘I don’t know if it’s going to happen.’ (Brooks) told me after the third he felt good, velo was back and he was tipping his changeup. He gave us a one-spot and a chance to play for a state championship.

“He ended up with the stuff”

For a moment, it didn't look like Puyallup would need that from him. In the first inning, Puyallup’s bats appeared ready to carry the team.

But Skyline pitcher Brandon Junker put the Vikings’ three-run start behind him and threw five straight hitless innings.

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Spartans first baseman Henry Zaske put Skyline on the board in an error-spurred inside the park home run. He drove one deep into left-center field past Puyallup’s Donte Grant, but ball slipped out on the throw and Zaske hauled home to pull Skyline within 3-1.

Shortstop Ethan Barajas hit a single on the next play, but the Vikings defense closed out the inning with him remaining on base.

Junker, a right-handed senior, tossed a scoreless sixth inning, but the Spartans couldn’t convert a run.

When Puyallup secured its last out, Brooks pumped both arms at his side as he marched back to the dugout.

“It feels amazing,” Brooks said. “This is what we work for every day.”

Skyline will play the loser of Olympia and Richland in the third place game Saturday at 9:30 a.m.

PUYALLUP 300 000 0 — 3 4 2

SKYLINE 000 001 0—1 5 0

Here are photos from the game:

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