Skyline pitcher Blake Fulghum continued to force ground balls, but it was his defensive support that had head coach Chris Tamminen scratching his head after Monday’s 7-0 winner-to-state loss to Lake Washington.
“We could not make plays for (Fulghum),” Tamminen said. “We could not keep the lead-off guy off base when he got his ground balls.”
Lake Washington’s lead-off hitter reached in every inning, and scored five times. Three of those Kangaroo runners reached via errors, and one was safe after a dropped third strike.
“We just didn’t play good defensively,” Tamminen said.
Lake Washington put itself on the board, 1-0, in the bottom of the second when Alex Donnelly poked an opposite-field single through the right side of the infield. The Kangaroos had a chance to pour it on in the second, but ran themselves into a rare play. With runners on second and third, Christian Kaiser drilled a groundball to third baseman Shawn Ellis. The runner got caught between third and home, another runner got caught between second and third, and the last runner was tagged out between second and first for an unconventional triple play.
“I told the guys it was the most embarrassing play in Lake Washington baseball history,” Kangaroo head coach Derek Bingham said.
According to Bingham, his team’s answer the next half inning may have been the deciding factor. Left-handed starter Tyler Staudacher retired the Spartans in order via a strikeout and two groundouts.
“We went out and got 1-2-3 in the next inning and stopped the momentum right there, and we moved on,” Bingham said.
Staudacher pitched a complete seven innings, allowing just four hits with five strikeouts. He also had two double plays turned behind him.
“It’s the best he’s been all year,” Bingham said. “He had command of his change-up and his fastball.”
Lake Washington was led at the plate by Kaiser who was 3-for-4 with two RBI singles. Shortstop Alex Potts also had a big hit for the Kangaroos, drilling the first pitch of the fifth inning over the left-centerfield fence for a home run, and a 4-0 lead. Lake Washington tacked on three more insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth.
Jacob Shannon was 2-for-3 at the plate for Skyline. Jake Knecht and Ryan Somers also had hits for the Spartans. The Kangaroos locked up a state berth and matchup Thursday with Newport for the KingCo 4A title.
Vikings knock off Spartans
Skyline was eliminated from a run at state Tuesday afternoon, falling 11-4 to Inglemoor. The Vikings got off to a hot start, led by senior first baseman Erick Raynes. He hit a grand slam in the first inning and followed it up with a two-run home run in his next at bat. Inglemoor led 11-1 after four innings. The Spartans rallied for three runs in the top of the seventh, ending their season with a 15-8 overall record.
Issaquah stays alive
Issaquah stepped up with its back against the wall, winning two loser-out games earlier this week. After dropping a heart-breaking contest 11-10 to Lake Washington in the Saturday’s KingCo 4A opener — a game where they gave up a five-run lead in the final inning ‚Äî the Eagles beat Bothell 15-5 on Monday, then defeated top-seeded Redmond 13-7 on Tuesday. The wins moved Issaquah into a third-fourth place game with Inglemoor on Thursday. A victory Thursday would secure a home playoff game this Saturday against the No. 2 team from the Greater St. Helen’s League for a berth to state. A loss, would require a trip on Saturday to the No. 1 GSHL team for a winner-to-state game.
Issaquah was led in Monday’s victory by Miles Perkins, who was 4-for-4 at the plate. He had two doubles, one home run and four RBI. Freshman Ethan Kalin earned the victory for the Eagles. Michael Dixon was 3-for-3 in Tuesday’s win with three RBI. Devin O’Donnell was 3-for-5 with a double, triple and four RBI. The Eagles took a 4-0 lead in the top of the first and never trailed. Austin O’Neil earned the victory. Check back soon for a time and location of Saturday’s game against the GSHL.