Tired, worn down, out of gas.
However Lakeside Senior American Legion coach Rob Reese wanted to word it, there was no denying his pitching staff didn’t have much left after last weekend’s Region 1 tournament at Bellevue’s Bannerwood Park.
“The pitching staff was on fumes,” he said.
When all was said and done, however, it didn’t matter. The team of players from Issaquah, Skyline and Newport reached its goal making it to state, finishing the Region 1 tournament with the second and final berth.
“It was a long weekend. We didn’t pitch that great, but we did enough to make it to the state tournament,” Reese said.
After three games — or 27 innings in 48 hours — exhaustion caught up with Lakeside Sunday afternoon as they dropped the championship game 9-3 to the Twin Cities Titans.
Tied 3-3 in the bottom of the fifth, the team from the Tri-Cities broke the contest open with a six-run inning. Five of those runs came with two outs.
With the bases loaded and one out, Brandon Andreini relieved starter Blake Fulghum, who had pitched the previous night. Andreini forced the first batter, Maxx Garrett, to pop out. He got the next batter, Devan Willis, to hit a ground ball to third, but the toss from Grant Gellatly to first baseman Will Pierce bounced in the dirt and Pierce was unable to hang on to what the umpire initially ruled an out.
“One good throw from third and we’re out of it, but we didn’t get it,” Reese said. “That’s where we’ve got to be better than that.”
Twin Cities took advantage of the mistake, rattling off three straight hits and five more runs.
Due to the depleted pitching staff, Reese went to position players who hadn’t taken the mound this season. Five players combined for three and a third innings of shutout baseball. Second baseman Mario Sanelli, first baseman Will Pierce, center fielder Collin Bennett, left fielder Miles Perkins and third baseman Grant Gellatly allowed just one hit and one walk.
“They did a great job,” Reese said. “They threw strikes and shut them out.”
Unfortunatley for Lakeside, they were battling from behind the entire game. They fell behind 3-0 in the third inning, allowing two unearned runs. Lakeside made its move in the top of the fifth, erupting for three runs. Perkins scored on a wild pitch. Ryan Sommers scored Gellatly on a sacrifice fly, and Spencer Rogers drilled an RBI double off the wall to tie the game. Gellatly was 3-for-4 and Rogers was 2-for-4.
Lakeside opened the Region 1 tournament Friday with an 18-8 victory over the Spokane Blue Devils. They lost 14-7 to Twin Cities Saturday afternoon, but battled back to beat Spokane 13-9 later that evening in a winner-to-state, loser-out contest.
Lakeside begins the state tournament against the Vancouver Athletics at 7 p.m. tomorrow at Tacoma’s Heidelberg Park.
“There’s only eight teams, so everybody’s got a shot,” Reese said. “You can get hot and run through it — we definitely have the capability of doing it, but so do the other seven teams.”
Lakeside will face either the Twin Cities Titans or Yakima Valley Pepsi Pak in the next round. For updated results of the double-elimination state tournament go to lakesidebaseballclub.com or www.wa-alb.org.