State: Fink, Stolp lead West to win and spot in semis

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jul 27, 2020

On a West Eagles team stacked with big names it’s easy to get overshadowed, but Carter Stolp and Max Fink found a perfect way to get noticed.

 

They led West to its biggest win of the season.

 

Both players came up huge as the Eagles beat top-seeded Dimond 7-4 on Day 4 of the Alliance State Tournament at Mulcahy Stadium.

 

Stolp pitched 3.1 innings, drove in three runs and made an outstanding diving catch as a defensive replacement in center field.

 

Fink, a right-handed relief pitcher, recorded a six-out save to lock down the win and secure West a berth in Tuesday’s state semifinals by virtue of its second-place finish in the Denali pool with a 2-1 record.

 

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West built a 5-0 lead early and then watched Dimond fight back to make it 5-4 by the sixth inning.

 

The Eagles scored two runs in the seventh inning on six combined walks by three Dimond pitchers, allowing West to tack on a couple insurance runs.

 

Having a three-run cushion probably helped Fink relax because he worked around a leadoff single to close out the game without much drama.

 

Stolp helped out his pitcher by robbing Ryan Henrickson of a hit when he made a diving catch. Stolp was only in the game at center because West’s Gold Glove Award center fielder was ejected in the sixth inning.

 

Stolp’s two-run single in the first inning pushed West’s lead to 3-0. In the fourth, Jones doubled to put runners at second and third. Jack Opinsky drove in one run with a chopper to second base and Jones scored the other on wild pitch to make it 5-0.

 

Dimond stormed back on the strength of extra-base hits.

 

In the fourth inning, Alex Wright’s RBI double set up a bases-loaded walk by Zach Jenkins that gave the Lynx their first run.

 

In the fifth inning, Logan Sweet doubled and scored on Wright’s second double of the night. Wright then scored on Adam Boyce’s single to pull Dimond within 5-3.

 

In the sixth inning, Jack Dolan tripled and scored on Sweet’s second double of the night to make it 5-4.

 

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But later in the sixth, West cut down a base runner at the plate on Opinsky’s throw home to maintain a one-run lead.

 

Dimond shot itself in the foot in the seventh by issuing four consecutive walks by separate relievers, but Garrett Lick was a bright spot. He entered the game with the bases loaded and no outs and clean up the mess by striking out three of four batters he faced.