Things looked bleak for the Eastlake Wolves baseball team after six innings of play against the Skyline Spartans.
Skyline, who won the Class 4A state title in May 2016, had a solid 4-2 lead going into the final inning of play.
The Spartans lead was short-lived.
Eastlake scored three runs in the top of the seventh, en route to a comeback 5-4 win against Skyline on April 13 at Skyline High School in Sammamish. The Wolves improved to 7-5 with the win while the Spartans dropped to 7-3 overall. With two outs in the top of the seventh sophomore catcher Braxton Diaz connected on a single, scoring two runners to give the Wolves a 5-4 lead. Eastlake head coach Frank Smith said it was just Diaz’s second career start at the varsity level.
“He had two hits against Woodinville [previous game] and he had two hits tonight. That was big RBI single for him,” Smith said.
Eastlake relief pitcher Cole Peterson, who pitched the final two innings for his team, said Diaz’s signature play lifted the Wolves spirits going into the bottom of the seventh.
“It gave me all the confidence I needed. We knew if we could just keep them off of home that was all we needed to get the win,” Peterson said.
In the bottom of the seventh, Peterson walked Skyline’s first batter Riley Gill. Following the walk, Smith paid a visit to the mound to talk with Peterson and the rest of the Wolves infielders. Following Smith’s words of encouragement, the Wolves recorded three consecutive outs to close out the victory. Peterson enticed Skyline’s Bryce Smith into a ground-out to end the game. Smith praised shortstop Dalton Chandler for making a difficult play to end the game.
“Dalton made a pretty nice play up the middle to cut it off and then came across and threw him [Smith] out at first,” Smith said. “Cole did a great job. He came in and threw strikes and kept the ball down,” Smith said.
Peterson was amped for the opportunity to close out the Spartans in the bottom of the seventh.
“I just knew that if I could keep throwing strikes that my great defense behind me would make plays,” Peterson said. “We know we can beat any team if we can beat them.”
Smith was proud to see his youthful squad come out on top against the Class 4A 2016 state champs.
“We are a scrappy bunch but we don’t look like much. We don’t have a lot of big bodies but we play pretty good defense and run the bases hard. The hitting is coming around,” Smith said. “It was great [victory] because last year they beat us twice.”