Lakeside Recovery finishes Brandy Pugh tourney at 3-2
By KEVIN ENDEJAN
Issaquah Reporter Assistant editor
December 19, 2011 · Updated 9:57 AM
It wasn't always a thing of beauty, but Lakeside Recovery Senior American Legion coach Rob Reese walked away from the annual Brandy Pugh Memorial tournament Sunday feeling good about his team.
"The offensive has really come alive, our pitching has really stayed solid — it's just the defense that has been a big bugaboo," he said, noting key injuries have moved players out of position.
Lakeside finished the 12-team tournament on Sunday with a 3-2 overall record after beating Pacific Tech Construction 8-6 at Bellevue College.
Defensive miscues nearly cost Lakeside on Sunday as the local group of players from Issaquah, Skyline and Newport high schools committed six errors.
Lakeside built a cushion in the bottom of the second inning, rallying for six runs to grab a 7-2 lead. Issaquah's Brandon Mahovlich provided the big blow with two outs. After Dan Altchech and Jimmy Sinatro forced in runs on bases-loaded walks, Mahovlich drilled a first-pitch fastball from Garrett McCoy well over the 365-foot mark in left-centerfield.
"I was just sitting on something to drive there," said Mahovlich, who recorded his second career grand slam and fourth home run of the summer.
Lakeside added another run in the bottom of the third on an RBI groundout from 2010 Issaquah graduate Mike Paulson to go up 8-2.
Pacific Tech capitalized on a slew of mental miscues and errant throws, however, to fight back. The team, which includes players from Kelso, R.A. Long and Mark Morris high schools in southwest Washington, loaded the bases with two outs in the top of the seventh.
Reliever Connor Lawhead, a 2010 Skyline graduate, then struck out Tanner Chamberlin on three straight pitches to earn the save.
Starter Travis Snider earned the victory, going 5 1/3 innings, allowing five earned runs and striking out three. Mahovlich added a sacrifice fly, going 1-for-3 with five RBI and Sinatro went 1-for-2 with a double, RBI and run scored.
Lakeside started the tournament on July 6 with a 9-2 victory over Bellevue Honda. They followed with a 8-3 victory over the Twin City Titans, before falling 5-2 to Bankers Baseball and 11-3 to Chaffey Baseball.
Taylor Baseball and the Twin City Titans play for the tournament championship at 7 p.m., tonight at Bannerwood Park.
Lakeside is 18-18 overall headed into Tuesday's league doubleheader at Bellingham. A sweep would guarantee first place in the Area 1 Division. Regardless of the outcome, Lakeside will host a Senior Legion Sub-Regional tournament July 20-21 at Bannerwood Park.
"We're starting to get better, we're trying to figure it out," Mahovlich said. "We're playing defense, we're pitching better and we're starting to hit, too. Things are looking better for the playoffs now."
The Senior Legion State Tournament runs July 26-31 in Selah with the Regional Tournament set for Aug. 4-8 in Billings, Mont.
Contact Issaquah Reporter Assistant editor Kevin Endejan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 425-391-0363, ext. 5054.