One bad inning derailed the Skyline Spartans KingCo 4A baseball tournament championship aspirations.
Skyline, which led the Inglemoor Vikings 2-0 after four innings of play, surrendered seven runs in the top of the fifth. Skyline scored one run in the bottom of the sixth, but the Vikings held on for a 7-3 win in the KingCo 4A title game on May 9 at Bannerwood Park in Bellevue.
“I tip my cap to Inglemoor. They put the hurt on us in that inning and we just couldn’t get out of it. They hit the ball well today. They made some nice adjustments and we didn’t make enough adjustments,” Skyline head coach Brandon Hemphill said.
Inglemoor finished the game with 13 hits. Viking starting pitcher William Larsen pitched the first six innings and relief pitcher Brandon Fothergill pitched the seventh inning.
Inglemoor head coach Craig Bishop was emotional following the victory against Skyline. In 2017, Bishop said the Vikings finished with a 1-15 record. The transformation on the diamond in a mere 12 months is officially complete. The Vikings were the No. 6 seed in the tournament but didn’t let it stop them from achieving their goal against the No. 1 seed (Skyline) in the tournament.
“This is a special time for us. Frankly, we didn’t have anything to lose. We felt like going into the tournament that we could play with anybody but we also knew that we achieved a goal to just get to the tournament. Once we got hot, things just kind of rolled from there,” Bishop said.
Bishop said he coached the vast majority of the varsity team when they were on a Little League team in 2010.
“I set a goal back then that I knew they would be capable of winning the KingCo Championship but I didn’t believe in a million years that I would be the coach,” Bishop said of coaching the Inglemoor varsity squad. “I have been thinking about this (championship) for a long, long time. This has been an amazing year.”
Despite the loss in the title game, Skyline’s season is still very much alive. The Spartans will face the Issaquah Eagles in a winner-to-state, loser-out game at 7 p.m. on May 11 at Bannerwood Park.
“We still got a pulse. We have a tremendous opportunity. We get to play against our rivals again, we get to play at Bannerwood (Park) again. We just have to embrace that opportunity and keep our eyes on the prize, which is a state championship,” Hemphill said.