The Mavericks started the year 7-2 before losing seven straight games to put the postseason in question. But Meadowdale split its last four games to qualify for the 3A District 1 Tournament and the Mavericks, the South's No. 4 seed, continued their mastery of opening round games with a 6-1 upset victory over North top-seed Marysville Pilchuck on Saturday.
"The district tournament is really important to us," said Meadowdale head coach Bill Hummel. "We've won the last six or seven games in the opening round. It's so important to get off to a good start. It's really difficult to get to state if you have to battle through the losers bracket."
The Mavericks got off to an ideal start, scoring five runs in the first inning off Tomahawks starting pitcher Alex Gray. Brian Marty put the Mavs on the board with an RBI double. Garrett Walsh and Dakota Barlament followed with run-scoring singles to increase the Mavs' lead to 3-0. With runners on first and third and two outs, Mavs third baseman Phil Thomas fell behind 0-2, but ripped a two-run double to right-center field to cap the inning and give Meadowdale starter Elliott Reece a comfortable lead before he had to throw a single pitch.
"Being able to put up a five-spot allows a pitcher to relax," said Hummel. "(Reece) is our No. 1 guy, but he's only a sophomore and was coming off a tough start earlier in the week, it just allowed him to relax and gain confidence."
Reece made the lead hold up, blanking Marysville Pilchuck through the first five innings. The Tommies' Jake Luton broke up the shutout with an RBI single in the sixth, but that was all Reece would surrender in a complete-game, five-strikeout performance.
Meadowdale advanced to play Glacier Peak in a winner-to-state game at Meridian Park Fields, while the Tomahawks will host Oak Harbor in a loser-out contest. Both games are scheduled for 4 p.m. on Tuesday.
At Marysville Pilchuck H.S.
Meadowdale 510 000 0--6 8 2
Marysville Pilchuck 000 001 0--1 5 2
Elliott Reece and Brian Marty. Alex Gray, Thomas Durand (4) and Kacey Walker. WP--Reece. LP--Gray. 2B--Marty, Phil Thomas (M). Records--Meadowdale 10-11 overall. Marysville Pilchuck 16-5.
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