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Auburn Riverside blanks Kentlake, snags final postseason berth | Prep baseball

Pitchers Randy Cummings and Noah Freelund combined on a three-hitter as Auburn Riverside defeated Kentlake 4-0 to capture a South Puget Sound League North 4A tiebreaker game Monday at Kent Memorial Park.

The Ravens (10-10) secured fifth place in the North and the final postseason berth into the SPSL sub-district playoffs. The Ravens played Emerald Ridge (12-8) at Heritage Park in Puyallup in a loser-out, winner to district contest.o

Freelund earned the win against the Falcons (4-11), giving up just three hits and striking out seven. Cummings pitched an inning of no-hit baseball in relief, striking out two.

Senior outfielder Brian Darby went 2-of-4 with a run, double and RBI for Auburn Riverside. Senior Andy Santos launched a solo home run. Junior Gavin Hettinger had two hits and scored a run and senior Sam Gocken added an RBI.

"We played a sound baseball game versus Kentlake," coach Jon Aarstad said. "Noah Freelund didn't have his best stuff but battled his way through it, making good pitches when he needed to. Our defense was as good as it has been all year, and it showed on the scoreboard with a shutout.

"We had a big hit from Andy (Santos) that put us on the board to take the pressure off a little and grab the momentum," Aarstad said. "Another big hit late in the game by Sam Gocken got us some insurance and more breathing room."

Aarstad continued:

"I feel we are playing our best baseball of the season right now. Our kids have stepped up and played well in big games lately. We have some improvements that still need to be made in order to make a good run in the playoffs, but I'm confident we can get there."

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