Four close games highlighted Wednesday's 3A action, with three of the games being decided in the final at-bat.
Lake Washington 3, Bellevue 2 - LW scored twice in the bottom of the seventh inning, erasing a one-run deficit and walking off on Bellevue, 3-2. Sophomore Alac Wong scored the game-winning run on a wild pitch after Chris Moore had tied the game with a bases loaded single. The win, coupled with Mercer Island's loss to Sammamish, clinched the #2 seed for the Kangs in the upcoming KingCo 3A playoffs. Senior Bob Cruikshank earned the win on the mound, going the distance allowing just 2 earned runs while striking out 4. Sophomore Stevie Semler finished the night 3-for-3, while senior Chris Moore added two hits and the game-tying RBI. For Bellevue, Drew Quinlan was the tough luck loser, pitching well and keeping LW off balance the entire night. Reid Wagner added two hits and an RBI for the Wolverines, who will be seeded either #3 or #4 in the tournament based on a coin flip.
Sammamish 9, Mercer Island 6 - The Totems rallied back from an early deficit to clinch a playoff berth with a 9-6 win over Mercer Island. Sammamish improves to 4-9 in league play with the win, and will enter the KingCo tournament as either the #5 or #6 seed, pending results of their game with Liberty Thursday. Aaron Lawrenson's bases clearing triple sparked the Totems late-game rally. Mercer Island falls to 7-7 with the loss and will slot in at #3 or #4 depending on a coin flip against Bellevue on Friday.
Liberty 5, Juanita 4 - Continuing their strong play in the second half, the Patriots knocked off Juanita in walk-off fashion Wednesday, 5-4. Liberty improves to 4-2 in the second half following a 1-6 start to the season. Juanita led 4-1 through 4 1/2 innings behind a strong performance on the mound from sophomore Ty Eng. They could not hold off Liberty however, giving up four runs over the final three innings. Liberty will take on Sammamish on Thursday in a battle for the #5 seed in the KingCo playoffs. Juanita, who was led offensively by seniors Sean Barlow (2-for-4, triple, 2 RBI) and Mitch Gebe (solo HR), was eliminated from the playoffs with the loss, finishing with a 3-11 league record.
Mount Si 3, Interlake 2 - In a classic pitcher's duel, the Wildcats came out on top in the end, scoring a run in the bottom of the 8th inning to down Interlake, 3-2. The Saints led 2-0 through 5 behind solid pitching from Carl Snaring and Austin Strother. Junior Trevor Taylor kept Mount Si in the game, allowing 2 earned over 6 innings of work. The Wildcats pushed across two runs in the sixth to tie the game, and send the home fans home happy with the walk-off win. Senior shortstop Tim Proudfoot homered and scored two runs for the Wildcats, who finish the regular season on Thursday night at Lake Washington having already secured the league's top seed. Interlake's regular season ends at 8-6 and they will head off to 2A for their district playoffs.
Newport 9, Eastlake 4 - The Knights secured the #1 seed in KingCo's Crest Division by knocking off Eastlake Wednesday, 9-4. Newport scored six times in the first inning and twice more in the second, jumping out early and never looking back. Junior Billy Sahlinger was the winning pitcher, surrendering 7 hits and 2 earned while striking out 8 in 6 innings of work. He also helped himself at the plate, going 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI. Seniors Nick Clifford (1-3, HR, 3 RBI) and Keith Van Court (3-for-4, run scored) also chipped in offensively. Newport finishes the regular season in a tie with Redmond at 11-3, but wins the tiebreaker over the 'Stangs thanks to a better divisional record. They will open the KingCo tournament Saturday at Woodinville HS - 7:00 PM against Ballard. Eastlake's season ends with a 1-13 KingCo 4A record.