The Issaquah Eagles baseball team didn’t let a heartbreaking loss in the 4A state semifinals against the Olympia Bears keep them down for long.
The Eagles, who lost 3-2 to Olympia in the 4A state semifinals on May 24, rebounded with a 2-0 win against Skyview in the 4A third/fourth-place game on May 25 at Gesa Stadium in Pasco. Olympia scored all three of its runs in the bottom of the seventh against Issaquah in the semifinal matchup.
“That was such a heartbreaking loss. The way we lost that game, everybody was pretty down the rest of the night. By the time the first pitch came (against Skyview), the guys just forgot about it, which was pretty cool. The players were a lot more resilient than the coaches,” Issaquah head coach Rob Reese said.
In the third/fourth-place game, Issaquah starting pitcher Ryan Baker pitched five innings of shutout baseball and senior Tyler Odegard pitched the final two innings and didn’t allow a run. Reese said Ty Buckner had a key RBI in the contest, which pushed Issaquah’s second run across the plate.
“Our pitching and defense was dominating again for the second straight night. We did enough offensively. The pitching and defense held up this time,” Reese said of the final game of the season.
Issaquah finished the 2019 season with an overall record of 19-10. It was the seventh time during the past 26 years the Eagles baseball program competed in the state semifinals. The Eagles won five loser-out games during the 2019 postseason. The wins with everything on the line throughout the playoffs is what Reese will remember the most about the 2019 Eagles squad.
“It was a special group. We knew we had a great core of juniors and some good seniors to lead the way. Man, they were resilient. All of those loser-out games made them battled tested. We got better as the year went on and by the end of the season we were ready to roll,” Reese said. “These guys just knew they were going to win. It was pretty special to watch.”