Fatigue may finally have caught the Lakeside Senior American Legion baseball club Monday at Bellevue’s Bannerwood Park.
Ending a stretch of 13 games in 14 days, the group of players from Skyline, Issaquah and Newport wrapped up the six-game Brandy Pugh Memorial tournament with an 8-0 loss to Bankers Baseball and a fourth-place finish overall.
“When it comes to these tournaments, I’m tired and I haven’t even played,” joked Lakeside coach Rob Reese.
Lakeside struggled to find a groove on Monday, giving up 16 hits and only earning three of their own in a five-inning game shortened by the mercy rule.
“We were flat from the beginning,” Reese said.
Starter Jacob Kemmerer kept the Bankers off the board through the first inning, but they rallied to score runs in each of the next four. The Bankers broke onto the board with a sacrifice fly in the second inning, an RBI single in the third and another sacrifice fly and RBI single in the fourth for a 4-0 lead. They generated four more runs in the fifth off reliever Blake Fulgham to put the eight-run rule into effect.
Lakeside’s three hits came from Mario Sanelli, Grant Gellatly and Collin Bennett.
“Looking at the whole season we’ve hit a lot better than we’ve hit today, but these are some pretty good teams,” Reese said.
Bennett provided the highlights on Monday with two diving catches in center field. He sprawled out in a full extension to his left for both balls, once in the third and once in the fourth.
Lakeside found itself with its back against the wall in the final round robin game on Sunday, but answered the call with a 10-2 win against first-place Red Lion.
Pitcher Adrian Sampson struck out nine batters, including five straight at one point.
“He’s been our best guy all year,” Reese said. “That’s what we expect from him every time, to throw strikes and have a great breaking ball.”
Sampson allowed seven hits and was bolstered by the quick run support his offensive generated. Lakeside’s first four batters reached base, and catcher Kyle Sutherland earned a bases-loaded walk to score the first run of the game. Ned Jones then added a two-run single and Sutherland scored from first after an errant Red Lion throw to third ended up in Lakeside’s dugout.
“Our bats were on fire today, and that’s where all the credit should go,” said Sampson, who will be a junior at Skyline High School next season. “Today we came out on fire and that gave me confidence out there.”
Lakeside scored five more runs in the third, knocking out Red Lion starter Chris Armstead, who took the loss only two batters into that inning.
Lakeside started the tournament of with a bang, winning its first two games, July 9 and 10. They defeated Honda Baseball 5-3 in the opener and the Twin City Titans 6-5. The team struggled in its next two games, falling 7-6 to the Kennewick Bandits on Friday and 6-3 to the Vancouver Cardinals on Saturday.
Lakeside will get back to action tomorrow after a four-day rest when they travel to Bellingham for a doubleheader. The team, which is 23-10 this summer, hosts another doubleheader at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. on July 21 against the Garfield Senadores and Honda Baseball. They have their final regular season game scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday, July 22 against the Pilots at Issaquah High School. The American Legion Regional state-qualifying tournament begins July 25 at Bannerwood Park.
Reporter Joel Willits contributed to this story.