Saturday, May 2, 2009

Crest Decided, Crown Still Up in the Air

Friday's games brought a chance for two teams to wrap up division titles - one was able to clinch, while the other will have to wait until Tuesday's finale for another chance to seal their fate.

Crest Division
  • Redmond 3, Skyline 2 - The Mustangs scored three times in a decisive fifth inning, clinching the Crest Division title with a 3-2 win over Skyline. Sophomore Dylan Davis outdueled Skyline's Blake Fulghum, allowing four hits and 2 earned runs in the complete game victory. Redmond will enter the KingCo Tournament as the #1 seed from the Crest Division and will take on the Crown Division's #4 seed in the first round. Meanwhile, despite the loss, the Spartans locked up the Crest Division #2 seed. They will matchup up with the #3 seed in the Crown.
  • Newport 11, Issaquah 4 - Trase Tam Sing and Kevon Zadeh each drove in two runs to lead a 15-hit attack as the Knights moved into a tie for third with an 11-4 win over Issaquah. The Knights scored four runs in the first inning and never looked back, scoring at least one run in each of the first six frames. Sophomore Jared Fisher picked up the win, yielding 3 earned runs in six innings of work. Dustin Talley homered for Issaquah, who dropped to 8-7 and will finish up the regular season next Tuesday at Redmond.

Crown Division

  • Woodinville 9, LW 8 (8 inn.) - In a dramatic back-and-forth affair, a bases loaded walk in the bottom of the eighth kept the Falcons division title hopes alive as they topped the Kangs 9-8. Lake Washington trailed 5-4 headed into the seventh inning, but battled back with 4 runs to take an 8-5 lead going into the bottom of the seventh. Woodinville, as they have done all season long, rallied in their final at bat of regulation, scoring three times (including twice with two outs) to tie the game and send it to extra frames, where they eventually won the game. Preston Longoni and Sean Murphy each drove in two runs a piece for the Falcons, who closed to within a game of the Kangs with one regular season game left. Dan Reynar drove in four runs and Christian Kaiser homered and scored three times for LW in a losing effort.
  • Bothell 6, Ballard 0 - Sophomore Brian McAfee tossed a one-hit shutout as the Cougars snapped a four-game losing streak with a 6-0 win over Ballard. The right hander gave up three walks while striking out six. Tyler Atkinson and Alex Reynolds had 2 RBI each for the Cougars, who improved to 9-6 and stayed one game ahead of Inglemoor for third place in the Crown Division.
  • Inglemoor 5, Roosevelt 1 - Mitchell Gonsolus, Scott Meyers and Logan Moen had two hits a piece and Aaron Hueter pitched 5 innings to pick up the win as the Vikings topped Roosevelt, 5-1. The win moved Inglemoor's league record to 8-7, one game behind third place Bothell in the Crown Division. They will play host to first place LW on Tuesday in the regular season finale for both teams. Tom Nielson was 2-for-3 for Roosevelt, who dropped to 2-13.

So, with only one regular season game remaining, only two of the eight seeds are locked up. All the playoff teams have been determined, but only Redmond (Crest #1) and Skyline (Crest #2) know where they will line up in the KingCo playoffs, which start next Saturday, May 9th.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Friday's Feature Games

The season's final Friday brings matchups between first and second place teams in both the Crown and Crest divisions, as well as a renewal of a KingCo 3A rivalry with third place on the line. Redmond (Crest) and Lake Washington (Crown) can each clinch division titles with wins tonight, while Skyline and Woodinville hope to keep their hopes alive going into Tuesday's finale.

Featured Games
Redmond (12-2) at Skyline (10-4), 3:45 pm - These two teams appear headed in opposite directions headed into this Crest division showdown. The Mustangs are the league's hottest team, taking an eight-game win streak to the plateau. Meanwhile, Skyline has stumbled a bit this week, dropping games to Newport and Issaquah to fall two games behind Redmond. Skyline won the first meeting between the two teams, 6-1, with ace Adrian Sampson keeping the Mustang bats in check. Sophomore Dylan Davis takes the bump tonight looking to even the season series and sew up a Crest division championship for the 'Stangs.

Lake Washington (11-3) at Woodinville (9-5), 7:00 pm - The league's lone night game features two teams looking to finish off perfect weeks, as the Kangs travel to Woodinville HS to take on the Falcons. Lake Washington defeated Roosevelt 9-3 on Monday and scored three runs in the seventh to top Bothell, 4-3 on Wednesday. Meanwhile, Woodinville beat Bothell 10-4 on Monday and won a pitcher's duel against Inglemoor 2-1 on Wednesday. The Kangs won the first contest, 8-3 and can lock up the Crown division championship with a win. Meanwhile, a Falcon win closes the gap to a game and keeps their hopes alive for a co-division title.

Newport (7-7) at Issaquah (8-6), 3:45 pm - Two old friends meet up again to renew their rivalry as the Eagles, winners of four straight KingCo contests, play host to the Knights. Both teams are 2-0 this week and are known for playing their best baseball at the end of the year. Issaquah has one-run wins over Eastlake and Skyline this week, while the Knights thumped Skyline 8-1 on Monday before escaping against Garfield 6-5 on Wednesday. Issy topped Newport in the season's first meeting, 6-1. An Issaquah win will lock up no worse than a #3 seed for the Eagles, while Newport looks to stay in contention for a third place finish.

Rounding out today's slate of games:

Bothell (8-6) @ Ballard (3-11), 3:45 pm
Inglemoor (7-7) @ Roosevelt (2-12), 3:45 pm
Eastlake (4-10) @ Garfield (3-11), 3:45 pm

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Wednesday (4/29) Nailbiters

Wednesday's action featured four 1-run ball games and another that went to extra innings. Playoff type baseball being played with just over a week left until tourney time...

Crest Division
  • Redmond 7, Eastlake 2 - The Mustangs cruised to their seventh straight win behind solid pitching from senior left-hander Mac Acker, eliminating Eastlake from playoff contention, 7-2. Acker allowed 2 earned and struck out 5 over 4 1/3 innings pitched and was helped offensively by Matt Kimmel (2-for-4, 2 runs scored), Drew Fosnes (1-for-3, 2 RBI) and Josh Bircher (1-for-3, double, 2 runs scored). Alex Boyce doubled twice and drove in a run for Eastlake, who fell 3 games back of fourth place Newport with just 2 games remaining. Meanwhile, Redmond clinched no worse than a tie atop the Crest Division headed into Friday's showdown at second place Skyline.
  • Issaquah 2, Skyline 1 - The Eagles turned to a freshman to continue their second half surge and Ethan Kalin delivered, holding the Spartans to just one run in 5 2/3 innings as Issaquah won their fourth straight KingCo contest, 2-1 over Skyline. Kalin, making his first Varsity start, pitched to contact all night, walking just one batter while recording 2 punchouts. Catcher Devin O'Donnell's sacrifice fly in the bottom of the seventh broke a 1-1 tie and sent Skyline home with their second straight defeat. Jacob Shannon drove in the lone Spartans run in the second inning. Issaquah maintains a one game lead over Newport for third place, with a showdown between the two teams looming on Friday afternoon.
  • Newport 6, Garfield 5 - The Knights survived a five-run seventh inning by Garfield, with senior Andrew Longhorn drawing a bases loaded walk in the bottom of the seventh to give Newport the 6-5 win. Senior right hander Brandon Andreini shined in this one, allowing just a hit and a walk in 6 shutout innings, striking out 10 Bulldogs in the process. His chance at the win was spoiled however by Garfield's 5-run top half of the seventh, which was keyed by Nick Conte (2 RBI) and Sean Gilman (double, RBI). Trase Tam Sing and Kevon Zadeh each had two hits for Newport, which locked up a playoff berth and looks to improve their seeding when they travel to Issaquah on Friday.

Crown Division

  • Woodinville 2, Inglemoor 1 - Senior southpaw Brett DeRooy went the distance for the Falcons, allowing just 5 hits and a walk while striking out 4 in Woodinville's big 2-1 win over the Vikings on Wednesday night. Senior Sean Murphy homered for the Falcons, who kept their hopes of a division championship alive. They remain two games back of Lake Washington with two games to play, with a showdown between the teams set for Friday night at 7:00 pm at Woodinville HS. Inglemoor sophomore sensation Obadiah Taylor was the tough luck loser, allowing just 2 hits and 2 earned runs over 6 innings of work. Sam Johnston drove in the Vikings' lone run in a loss that dropped them to 7-7, one game out of third place.
  • LW 4, Bothell 3 - Senior Blake Lively's walk-off three-run double in the bottom half of the seventh inning gave the Kangs a dramatic come-from-behind 4-3 win over Bothell on Wednesday night. Sophomore left-hander Kevin McShane kept the Lake Washington bats off balance all night, taking a 3-1 lead into the seventh inning, only to take the loss with the 3 runs in the seventh all being unearned. Lively also earned the win on the mound, pitching 2 innings and allowing one earned run in relief of senior starter Christian Kaiser, who allowed 2 earned over 5. Sophomore center fielder Alex Donnelly was 1-for-3 with a double and two runs scored, including the game winner in the Kangs' last at bat. Third baseman Alex Reynolds drove in two runs and Gene Watson was 1-for-3 with a double for Bothell, who fell into third place with their fourth straight defeat.
  • Ballard 4, Roosevelt 2 (8 inn.) - The Beavers scored two runs in the top of the eighth to break a 2-2 tie and snap a 10-game losing streak, topping Roosevelt 4-2. Ballard won the ball game despite being outhit in the contest, 5-3. For Roosevelt, Tom Nielson was 2-for-4 with an RBI and Mark Sugiyama went the distance on just 99 pitches, ending up the tough luck loser.

The four playoff teams in each division are now set (KingCo 4A standings), with seeding being the only thing left to determine. Friday brings three big games to determine playoff placement; in the Crest Division, Redmond travels to Skyline looking to lock up the #1 seed, while Issaquah hosts Newport in a battle for third place. Over in the Crown Division, first place Lake Washington can clinch the division title outright when they travel to Woodinville for a 7:00 pm start.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

KingCo 4A Playoff Format

With the KingCo 4A playoffs starting in less than two weeks, I thought it would be a good time to take a look at the tournament format and peek at some possible first round matchups.

Tournament Format / Notes

  • The top four teams in the Crown and Crest divisions qualify for the playoffs
  • The entire first round will be played on Saturday, 5/9
  • All games will be played at Woodinville HS, with the exception of two loser's bracket games on Monday, 5/11 which will be played at Inglemoor HS
  • The two teams that win each of their first two games will qualify for the state tournament and play in the KingCo championship game on Thursday, 5/14
  • KingCo's #3 and #4 seeds (determined through the loser's bracket) will take on the #1 and #2 seeds from the Greater St. Helen's League (GSHL) on Saturday, 5/16
  • View the entire tournament bracket here.

First Round Matchups - Saturday, 5/9

  • 10:00 am - Crown #3 vs. Crest #2
  • 1:00 pm - Crest #4 vs. Crown #1
  • 4:00 pm - Crest #3 vs. Crown #2
  • 7:00 pm - Crown #4 vs. Crest #1

If the season ended today, the first round would look like:

  • Bothell (Crown 3 **) vs. Skyline (Crest 2)
  • Newport (Crest 4) vs. Lake Washington (Crown 1)
  • Issaquah (Crest 3) vs. Woodinville (Crown 2 **)
  • Inglemoor (Crown 4) vs. Redmond (Crest 1)

** - Woodinville currently holds the #2 seed in the Crown division based on a season sweep of Bothell

With three games left, these matchups have potential to change significantly. Follow the last week of the season to see where each team will end up.

Monday (4/27) Results

Heading into Monday, just four games remained in the KingCo 4A regular season...

Crest Division
  • Newport 8, Skyline 1 - Senior Colin Hering shined both on the mound and at the plate for the Knights as they completed a season sweep over Skyline with an 8-1 win. Hering scattered 5 hits and an earned run over 6 2/3 innings of work and also went 3-for-4 with 2 doubles and 4 RBI, helping Newport inch closer to the Crest Division's final playoff berth. For the Spartans, Adrian Sampson suffered his first loss of the 2009 campaign as he was touched for 8 runs (5 earned) in 6 1/3 innings pitched.
  • Redmond 6, Garfield 1 - Junior Ryan Beliel went the distance, allowing just 4 hits and an earned run, helping the Mustangs win their seventh straight, 6-1 over Garfield. Beliel didn't walk a single batter, while striking out 3 Bulldogs on the night. Sophomore third baseman Michael Conforto keyed a 5-run third inning with a bases loaded triple and fellow sophomore Zach Abbruzza was 3-for-3 with two doubles and an RBI for Redmond, who took advantage of Skyline's loss to move into sole possession of first place in the Crest Division. Peter Summerville was 1-for-2 with an RBI for Garfield, who must win out and get help to have a shot at the playoffs.
  • Issaquah 4, Eastlake 3 - In an important game to help determine the Crest Division's final two playoff teams, the Eagles pushed across a run in the top of the seventh to top Eastlake, 4-3. Junior Spencer Rogers carried a no-hitter into the sixth before the Wolves tied the game with three runs, two coming off the bat of senior catcher Nick Andrews. Rogers, who allowed just 2 hits and struck out 6 in a complete game victory, was the hero with the bat for Issaquah as well, driving in the go ahead run in the final frame. Marcus Gaan was 3-for-3 with a run scored for Issaquah, whose magic number is now 1 to clinch a playoff berth.

Crown Division

  • Woodinville 10, Bothell 4 - Junior Dan McMillan's grand slam was the big hit in a 6-run third as the Falcons moved into a tie for second place in the Crown Division with a 10-4 win over Bothell. Both teams now sit at 8-5, with Woodinville owning the tiebreaker over Bothell thanks to a season sweep. Junior catcher Matt Stefansson also homered to help Woodinville's cause. For the Cougars, Tyler Atkinson, Brian McAfee and Alex Reynolds each had two hits in a losing effort.
  • Inglemoor 2, Ballard 1 - Erick Raynes' two-run home run in the top of the seventh inning turned out to be the deciding blow in the Vikings' playoff clinching 2-1 win over Ballard. Pitchers Spencer Trautman (Inglemoor) and Jimmy Pugel (Ballard) traded zeroes for the first five innings before the Beavers broke through with a single run in the bottom of the sixth. That set the stage for Raynes's heroics, with the senior coming through with two strikes and two outs in the Inglemoor seventh. Inglemoor clinches a playoff berth with the win and trails Bothell and Woodinville by just one game at 7-6.
  • LW 9, Roosevelt 3 - Sophomore Alex Donnelly had two hits and 2 RBI in Lake Washington's 7-run fifth inning as the Kangs took a two-game lead in the Crown Division with a 9-3 win over the Roughriders. As he had done in their first meeting, Roosevelt senior pitcher Steven Holt kept LW's bats in check, taking a 3-2 lead into the fifth. However, a combination of walks, hit batsmen and key hits sparked the Kangs' big inning. Senior right hander Karl Myers struck out 9 over 6 innings to improve to 3-1 in KingCo play this season. Blake Lively was 1-for-1 with 3 walks, 2 runs, 2 RBI and 2 of Lake Washington's 7 stolen bases on the night. For Roosevelt, Tom Nielsen was 3-for-4 in a losing cause.

Six of the eight playoff teams are now decided including all four of the Crown Division tournament participants. In the Crest Division, Issaquah and Newport have the upper hand, with Eastlake and Garfield currently on the outside looking in. Look for a post on the blog later today with information on the 2009 KingCo tournament.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Week 5 KingCo 4A Players of the Week

KingCo 4A Baseball - Players of the Week
Week 5: April 20-25, 2009

Crest Division
Player of the Week: Dylan Davis, Soph., Redmond
Dylan Davis, a sophomore pitcher/outfielder for the Mustangs, wins his second Crest Division player of the week award based on his performance last week in wins over Lake Washington and Newport. In Tuesday's win over the Kangs, Davis was 3-for-4 with a home run and 3 RBI. He followed that up with a 1-for-3 afternoon against Newport, finishing the week 4-for-7 (.571) with a triple, home run and 4 RBI. Davis is currently tied for the KingCo 4A lead with 5 home runs (with teammate and fellow sophomore Michael Conforto) and is second in RBI with 14.

Also nominated: Nick Smith, Eastlake; Gavin Schumaker, Issaquah

Pitcher of the Week: Brennan Menninger, Sr., Eastlake

In earning the win in a 3-2 victory over Bothell, Eastlake's Brennan Menninger picks up the week 5 pitcher of the week award for the Crest Division. The senior right hander came within one out of a complete game, working 6 2/3 innings and allowing just 3 hits and 2 runs (0 earned). Menninger currently has a 3.00 ERA with 18 strikeouts in 26 innings of work on the season.

Also nominated: Spencer Rogers, Issaquah

Crown Division
Player of the Week: Christian Kaiser, Sr., Lake Washington
For the third consecutive week, a Kang picks up the Crown Division player of the week award, with senior pitcher/designated hitter Christian Kaiser winning the honors in week 5. Kaiser reached base safely in each of his seven plate appearances last week, going a perfect 6-for-6 with a triple and 5 RBI. For the season (league play only), Kaiser is 10th in the league with a .391 batting average along with being ranked in the top 5 in wins, ERA and strikeouts on the mound.

Also nominated: None

Pitcher of the Week: Colin Gipner, Sr., Roosevelt
Colin Gipner, a senior pitcher for Roosevelt, is the week 5 pitcher of the week in the Crown Division. Gipner wins the award based on a complete game victory over Woodinville last Thursday where he allowed just 2 htis and 1 earned run for the Roughriders. He walked three and struck out three, picking up his second win of the season. In league play, Gipner is 2-2 with a 5.25 ERA in 20 innings pitched.

Also nominated: None

Looking Back at Week 5...

Didn't have much time last week to expand on the results of some big games, so thought I'd take a minute here to review the happenings of week 5:

Unbeaten Teams
Redmond (2-0 last week, 10-2 KingCo, T-1st Crest Division) - The Mustangs had as impressive of a week as anyone in the KingCo 4A conference last week, winning a showdown between first place teams on Tuesday and handly winning on Thursday to complete the perfect week. On Tuesday, Redmond came back from an early 4-0 deficit, winning in the bottom of the seventh over Lake Washington, 7-6. The Kangs led 6-3 into the bottom of the fifth, when the sophomore connection of Dylan Davis and Michael Conforto struck again for the 'Stangs. Davis hit a 2-run home run on an 0-2 breaking ball to cut the gap to 6-5 and Conforto hit the first pitch he saw from LW relief pitcher Trevor Dunlap deep over the fence in right-center to tie the game at 6. Chad Hui-Peterson provided the game winner, lining a ball between two diving LW outfielders in right field, scoring Conforto with the walk-off run.

On Thursday, Redmond broke open a close game with a 9-run sixth inning en route to a 14-2 win over Newport. Davis shined on the mound this time, improving to 5-0 on the mound in KingCo play, allowing just 2 earned runs in 5 innings of work. Matt Kimmel led the Mustangs' 11-hit attack, going 4-for-5 with a double and 3 RBI.

Skyline (2-0 last week, 10-2 KingCo, T-1st Crest Division) - The Spartans needed a 2-0 week to keep pace with Redmond and got it with wins over Inglemoor on Tuesday and Eastlake on Thursday. Against the Vikings, junior right hander Adrian Sampson improved his league record to a perfect 6-0 and lowered his ERA to 1.41, surrendering just 1 earned runs in the complete game victory. Sampson struck out nine, bringing his league leading total to 52 against just 13 walks in 38 2/3 innings. Thursday, the offense carried the torch, pounding out 14 hits to lead Skyline to the 11-3 win over the Wolves. Ryan Gilchrist and William Chandler each had three hits for the Spartans, who are tied atop the Crest Division with Redmond, both sporting 10-2 records.

Issaquah (2-0 last week, 6-6 KingCo, 3rd Crest Division) - The Eagles emphatically snapped a three game losing streak with impressive wins over Woodinville and Garfield. On Tuesday, Issaquah scored 4 in the first and another 4 in the third en route to an 11-3 win over the Falcons. A balanced attack was the key offensively, as five different Eagles had multi-hit games. On Thursday, Issaquah completed the perfect week behind junior right hander Shane Yarnell, defeating Garfield, 8-2. Yarnell gave up just two unearned runs in a 90-pitch complete game victory. Issaquah holds a one-game lead over Newport for third place in the Crest Division at 6-6.