BOISE — There was the moment when his coaches mobbed him as the final out was recorded.
The moment when he hoisted the state championship trophy high into the air.
The moment when he posed with his family on the field for a photo.
And maybe the best moment of them all — when he handed Riley Harrison his medal at home plate during the postgame awards ceremony.
Matt Rasmussen waited 16 years for Saturday night — and the feelings and emotions were even better than he could have imagined.
Mountain View (27-2) scored 10 runs in the first two innings and cruised to a 19-2 five-inning win over Capital on Saturday night at Memorial Stadium to win the first 5A state baseball title in the 16-year history of the program.
“It’s unbelievable,” said Rasmussen, who has been the head coach for the entire history of the Mountain View program. “I don’t know if I can describe it right now. I’m pretty emotional for a lot of different reasons. It was good to have Riley here. We have a big senior class that I’ve built relationships with the last four and five years and I’m sad to see them go but so glad we were able to do this together.”
Senior John Milner went 3 for 3 with three RBI, three runs scored and a walk to lead an offensive onslaught from the Mavericks that started early and never stopped. There was little suspense that the Mavericks would make history as they scored five in the first and five more in the second to lead 10-0.
Carson Smith was 2 for 2 with an RBI double and three walks, while Braxton Mills had two hits, two RBI, two walks and scored five runs. The top three in the order for Mountain View reached base in all 15 trips to the plate and scored 11 runs.
Senior Devon Sharts did the rest, holding Capital to four hits and two runs before being removed with one out in the fifth inning to receive an ovation from the crowd. He tipped his cap to the cheering fans before hugging each of his teammates on the way off the field.
The five-inning game marked the first run-shortened game in the 5A state title game since 1999.
“There’s no better feeling,” said Milner, one of 15 seniors on the roster. “We’ve been working so hard all year and we knew we had something special brewing ever since our freshman year so it’s just nice to see all the hard work pay off.
“It’s so special because we’re always going to be known as the team that did it, and I’m so happy we did it for coach Rasmussen after he waited all those years.”
The loss ended a storybook run for Capital (15-17), which appeared in the state title game despite being the No. 8 seed in its own district tournament. The Eagles scored their only two runs in the third inning on a two-run single from Josh Berg.
“We just ran out of gas,” Capital coach Jake Chandler said. “We spent the last two weeks fighting for our lives and we just ran out of gas. We went through the losers bracket and won six straight. I’m just so proud of my kids. We were just happy to be here. We made a great run. I couldn’t be more proud to be a Capital Eagle.”
The Mavericks got a boost by the presence of the senior Harrison, who watched the game from down the right field line after being released from the hospital six days earlier. He suffered a fractured skull from a line drive while pitching in the district championship series on May 8, and it was his first time back at a game since.
The team came over to hug him after the final out, and he was able to walk to home plate to receive his medal and participate in the team photo. He received the loudest ovation of the night.
“He’s a big reason why we’re celebrating tonight,” Rasmussen said.
There will be plenty of rebuilding ahead for Rasmussen and the Mavericks after losing so many impact seniors, but he planned to worry about that another day. After waiting 16 years to hoist the state championship trophy, he planned to soak in the moment.
“It was absolutely worth the wait,” Rasmussen said. “I hope we don’t have another 16-year dry spell, but these kids worked their butts off and did everything we asked. They put in the time and were a fun group to coach and be around. They are super kids that have a lot to look forward to.”
And one special memory to always look back on.
ROCKY MOUNTAIN TAKES HOME THIRD PLACE
Kaden Hollow went 2 for 3 with two RBIs and Rocky Mountain topped Eagle 6-4 to win the third-place game Saturday afternoon.
Rocky Mountain broke a 3-3 tie with two runs in the top of the fifth. Eagle answered with one run in the bottom of the frame to make it 5-4, but the Grizzlies added a run in the top of the seventh for the 6-4 win.
Russell Watchow had two hits and scored a run for Rocky Mountain, while Conor Christiansen doubled and scored a run.
Dalton Mashore and Dawson Warner each had two hits for Eagle in the loss.
2A STATE TOURNAMENT
STRONG PITCHING LEADS MELBA TO STATE TITLE: Melba pitchers allowed just one run over 15 innings on Saturday as the Mustangs claimed the 2A state baseball title, beating Declo 6-1 in the state championship game.
Melba (22-5) won the state tournament behind a strong defensive effort, as the Mustangs got shutout wins in the quarterfinal and semifinal.
In the game against Declo, Michael Huntsman and Henry Clark combined to hold the Hornets to three hits, with Clark striking out seven over five scoreless innings.
Declo scored its lone run in the second inning, but Abe Riley drove in a run on a bunt in the bottom half of the inning and Dillion Bodily drew a bases-loaded walk to extend the lead to 3-1. Melba added three more runs in the third inning on an error and two more walks with bases loaded.
Earlier in the day, Melba beat Grangeville 1-0 in eight innings, with Mark Stradley pitching all eight for Melba.
Clark had the game-winning hit for Melba, a walk-off single in the bottom of the eighth to score Bodily from second base.
DECLO 6, NAMPA CHRISTIAN 4: Nampa Christian saw its streak of four straight state titles come to an end with a loss to Declo in the 2A semifinals.
Aidan Bradshaw and Josh Tiersma had RBIs for the Trojans (21-6) in the loss.
Rain in Orofino washed away the third-place game and consolation bracket in the 2A tournament.
4A STATE TOURNAMENT
BISHOP KELLY 4, LAKELAND 1: Bishop Kelly bounced back from a loss to Idaho Falls in the 4A state semifinals to beat Lakeland in the third-place game.
The Knights (25-5) scored all four of their runs in the bottom of the fifth inning, with the first one coming on a bases-loaded balk. Peyton Rossi then hit a sacrifice fly to give Bishop Kelly a 2-1 lead.
Tyler Garrehy added an RBI double and Bailey Cunningham had an RBI single.
Ethan Buttars allowed six hits in a complete-game win, striking out two.
TWIN FALLS 13, KUNA 3, 6 INNINGS: Kuna fell behind 8-1 after two innings and the Kavemen didn’t recover, falling in the 4A consolation final.
Ty Cobb, Logan Bundy and Kaden Schutz all had RBIs for Kuna (17-10).
3A STATE TOURNAMENT
WEISER 11, TIMBERLAKE 10, 8 INNINGS: Ray Calley hit a bases-loaded single to center field in the bottom of the eighth inning, giving Weiser a walk-off win in the 3A Consolation final.
The Wolverines (14-13) led 10-7 in the top of the seventh inning, but Timberlake scored three runs to force extra innings.
Brett Spencer and Jayden Mink each had three hits for Weiser, while Kooper Von Brethorst had two RBIs.