Lindbergh baseball falls to Sammamish 6-1

Eagles are loaded with underclassman as their eyes turn to the future.

Head Coach Benny Benavides has been the skipper for the Lindbergh High School baseball program for 23 seasons. So, he is all too familiar with the ebbs and flows of a high school baseball team’s season and a program in general.

The Lindbergh Eagles have some unique circumstances in front of them this season. They have an unprecedented amount of youth in the starting lineup, and that is something that Benavides has been working with all season.

“I judge their success on growth from day one and how they are adjusting to high school baseball … I’m not looking so much at this year or next year. It is two, three years down the road,” Benavides said.

In the starting nine against Sammamish, in a game the Eagles lost 6-1, Lindbergh had three freshmen and three sophomores, with a trio of seniors to add some senior experience. With that absurd number of young players gaining valuable reps at the varsity level, wins and losses are the last thing on the coach’s mind.

“We have grown so much (this season). We’ve got four games left. Let’s battle or learn how to battle,” Benavides said.

The Eagles and Redhawks went to battle on April 17 at Bannerwood Park. The Eagles were facing a tall task in top of the table, Sammamish. It has been a rocky road for Lindbergh in their meetings with the northernmost KingCo opponent.

Since joining the 2A KingCo league back in 2020, Lindbergh is 0-4. But the Eagles showed promise early in the first matchup between the two sides this season.

In the second and third innings, Lindbergh got runners in scoring position with less than two out. But they just couldn’t get that knock to put Sammamish on its heels, and that is OK for Benavides.

One man who didn’t have a problem finding some base-knocks was senior Kyle Burris. He had three hits on the day including a double, and in all four plate appearances, hit the ball hard. Since day one, his leadership has always been apparent. But this season he’s taken a huge step.

“He’s been that leader since he was a freshman. He knows this is it for him. He just wants to show these kids (how to play). He’s been hitting the ball really well. Tonight he lit it up,” Benavides said.

Burris also came in from the bullpen for starter Soren Bostrom in the fourth inning. Burris had some tough defensive plays behind him, from his young defense. But Benavides saw a mature leader out on the mound after those plays.

“The difference between Kyle last year, and Kyle this year, is the stuff happening around the field got to him. But this year it doesn’t because he knows we are young… He’s done really well with the young guys, really he is like another coach,” Benavides said.

Another senior on this underclassmen laden roster is Diego Dumlao. The senior backstop has been sidelined recently with an injury, but has continued to make an impact on this Eagle team.

“He wants to be a coach, he can’t wait to be a coach … He enjoys that part of the game and that makes him better. He sees a lot going on right now cause he can’t play. It eats at him,” Benavides said.

As it stands right now, Lindbergh is fifth in the 2A KingCo standings. To make the district tournament, Lindbergh has to finish in the top three, otherwise they have to win one or two games to snatch the fourth KingCo seed.

“We still got some games to play,. I’m sure we’ll be in the first or second round of playoffs. I got the pitching, just need the hitting,” Benavides said.

With Dumlao coming back, Lindbergh should get that offensive spark they have been looking for.

Soren Bostrom delivers a pitch at Bannerwood Park against Sammamish. Ben Ray / The Reporter

Soren Bostrom delivers a pitch at Bannerwood Park against Sammamish. Ben Ray / The Reporter

Mason Duppenthaler at the plate for Lindbergh. Ben Ray / The Reporter

Mason Duppenthaler at the plate for Lindbergh. Ben Ray / The Reporter