After a 4-2 win over Columbia River that clinched a state tournament appearance, the mood of the Hazen baseball team was a little different on the 160-mile bus ride from Vancouver back to Renton.
The Renton High soccer team is in the playoffs. Let that sink in for a minute. The best evidence for how big of a deal the playoff appearance is: No one at the school is sure exactly how long it has been since the Indians boys soccer team last made the postseason.
When Michael Johnson took over the Renton High baseball team two weeks before the 2007 season, the program had 12 players and a negative figure in the budget. Just one year later, the Indians’ turnaround is already in full swing.
Hazen baseball coach Chris Chiechi knew he had a legitimate ace and a couple of strong role players on the pitching staff. What he didn’t know is that in a late-season game, he would get great innings from a sophomore and a senior that hadn’t pitched in 2008.