The Eagles swept a Wesco North doubleheader from Stanwood on Wednesday -- vaulting over the Spartans in the standings -- clinching the conference's fourth and final seed to the district tournament.
When it looked the worst for the Eagles, down 5-0 in the first game at Stanwood High School, Arlington responded with six unanswered runs to beat Stanwood 6-5. The Eagles had 13 hits as Arlington defeated the Spartans 4-1 in Game 2.
"In some ways playing the doubleheader helped us out because once we got the momentum form the first one, our spirits were high and we were ready to go for the second one," said Arlington head coach Scott Striegel. "... Once we won that first game, once we came back in the fifth inning in that first game, our kids were so eager to play that second one."
After allowing five runs in the opener, Eagles' starter Ryan Walker settled down the rest of the way. Walker pitched a six-hitter, striking out 10.
"Ryan had a tough second inning," Striegel said. "After he settled down you could tell, even in the dugout, that he was in control."
Meanwhile the Arlington offense, which Striegel said had opportunities to score, put runs on the scoreboard. The Eagles scored a run in the top of the fourth, followed by a four-run explosion in the fifth, and one more in the sixth to seal the victory.
Colton Hordyk batted 2-for-3 in the first game and Walker contributed two hits. The Nos. 7 and 8 hitters in the lineup -- Josh Schempp and Tyler McDonald -- drove in four runs.
"We just kind of felt like, hey we can hit this guy. We're ready to go," Striegel said.
The Eagles carried their momentum into game two.
Arlington took a 1-0 lead in the first inning en route to the victory and clinching a spot in this weekend's district tournament.
Tanner Goheen, who was 0-for-3 in the first game, went 3-for-4. Goheen was playing for the first time in five weeks after injuring his shoulder. Hordyk hit a solo home run and Riley Tracy pitched a complete game, allowing one unearned run.
"We came out right away and swung the bat pretty well," Striegel said.
Goheen and DJ Smith, the two senior captains, were on the Arlington basketball team which lost to Stanwood in a winner-to-districts game in February.
"This was pretty sweet for them to have that same opportunity," Striegel said.
The Eagles, who lost to Stanwood on April 27. move on to play Wesco South No. 1 Edmonds-Woodway at its home field Saturday at 3 p.m.
Striegel thinks Arlington is playing some of its best baseball of the season.
"It's been a long journey but it kind of feels like everything's coming together at the right time and our kids are really excited right now," Striegel said.
At Stanwood H.S.
Arlington 000 141 0--6 9 1
Stanwood 050 000 0--5 6 3
Ryan Walker and Tyler McDonald. Andrew Bloom, Austin Lindel (5) and Jeff Ness. WP--Walker (3-3). LP--Lindel. 2B--Ronnie Alumbaugh (S), Ness (S), Connor Martin (S), McDonald (A). Records--Arlington 5-10 league, 8-12 overall. Stanwood 4-11, 6-12.
Arlington 4, Stanwood 1 (Game 2)
At Stanwood H.S.
Arlington 101 010 1--4 13 2
Stanwood 010 000 0--1 9 2
Riley Tracy and Tyler McDonald. Tyler Divens, Chad Larson (4), Jake Campbell (7) and Jeff Ness. WP--Tracy (3-3). LP--Divens. 2B--Campbell (S), Josh Schempp (A). HR--Colton Hordyk (A). Records--Arlington 5-10 league, 8-12 overall. Stanwood 4-11, 6-12.
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