ANACORTES — Both teams were going to state, but there was still a little added incentive for the Archbishop Murphy baseball team Saturday afternoon.
The Wildcats were playing Lynden — which handed Murphy its only regular season defeat, 11-2 on April 5 — in the third/fourth place game of the 2A District 1 tournament in Anacortes. It was never more than a two-run game until the bottom of the fifth inning, when Archbishop Murphy scored seven runs to break the game open on its way to a 10-6 win.
“Yes there was motivation to play them again,” said Murphy head coach Stan Taloff. “We came out and had a very mediocre day that (first game). We wanted to make sure to let them know they were going to get a better game from us.”
The loss to the Lions was the only blemish on the Wildcats 19-1 regular season.
With a 3-2 lead, Murphy took advantage of some struggles by Lynden pitcher Matt Meyer, who relieved starter Zach Vis in the fifth inning. Alex Galgano led off the fifth with the first of six walks in the inning. Meyer quickly loaded the bases and was relieved by Tanner Olson.
Olson didn’t fare much better, allowing four runs on two walks, two hits and two errors before getting an out. Galgano, walked for a second time later in the same inning with the bases loaded.
“It was a full team effort,” Taloff said. “Everybody contributed.”
Junior Derrick Mahlum got the win, allowing five runs and pitching into the sixth inning. Mahlum said that the Murphy-Lynden rivalry goes back further than April’s baseball game. It dates back to early December, when the Lions’ football team defeated Murphy in the 2A state football championship in the final moments with an intentional safety, onside kick and touchdown.
“All the football players are just pumped that we won,” said Mahlum.
Galgano, a member of the Wildcat football team, got on base during every at bat, with three walks — one with the bases loaded — and reaching on an error. Courtesy runner Camden Buchanan pinch ran for him each time and scored once.
Lynden catcher Josh Kraght, who was the quarterback for the Lions’ 17-16 victory, was 1-for-2 with a two-run double and a sacrifice bunt. Jordan Kreider added a two-run home run for Lynden in the top of the sixth inning, when the Lions did most of their damage.
The win was Murphy’s second of the day. The Wildcats defeated Cedarcrest 8-1 in a loser-out game earlier in the day. They got an hour-and-a-half break before their contest with Lynden, which took 21/2 hours.
It was the Wildcats’ first doubleheader since they swept Granite Falls in a season-opening one on March 16.
“Whatever they got scheduled, we’ll play,” Taloff said. “There’s a tendency for there to be a little bit of a letdown in the second game because you’re going to state (either way). But we still play every pitch, every inning of every single game.
“You do have to reach down and get a little bit extra to do that.”
It was a matchup that many expected to be the district championship game. Both teams were No. 1 seeds in the tournament — Lynden from the Northwest Conference and Murphy from the Cascade Conference. Both teams will advance to the regional round of the state tournament.
The Wildcats will be in the same side of the state bracket as Burlington-Edison, which defeated Bellingham 6-3 in the district championship game. The Tigers also beat Murphy 5-0 in a semifinal game, forcing the Wildcats into today’s doubleheader.
“I think that our guys came back from a very tough game Tuesday against Burlington,” Taloff said. “It showed a lot of courage to come in and play two games.”
Might Murphy’s string of revenge continue in the state tournament?
“We’re excited (for state),” Taloff said. “We’ll be there with Burlington.”
At Daniels Field
Zach Vis, Matt Meyer (5), Tanner Olson (5) and Josh Kraght. Derrick Mahlum, Zander Clouse (6) and Alex Galgano. WP–Mahlum. LP–Vis. 2B–Trever Morrison (AM), Brandon Davis (L), Kraght (L). HR–Jordan Kreider (L). Records–Lynden 19-4 overall. Archbishop Murphy 22-2.
Murphy ends Cedarcrest’s season
ANACORTES — Levi MaVorhis pitched a complete game and hit a two-run double in the fifth inning to help Archbishop Murphy defeat Cedarcrest 8-1 in a loser-out game at the 2A District 1 tournament.
MaVorhis struck out six batters and scattered four hits in seven innings. His double brought in the first two of three runs for the Wildcats in the fifth inning. Murphy added four more runs in the sixth inning — all unearned — on three walks, one hit and two errors by Cedarcrest.
The Red Wolves scored first with a run in the top of the fourth after an RBI infield single by Alex Hueter, before the Wildcats scored eight unanswered runs to come from behind.
“The part I liked the best was we were able to come from behind,” said Stan Taloff, Murphy’s head coach. “We were able to battle back.”
“The first game we were just shouting,” said pitcher Derrick Mahlum, who got the win in the Wildcats’ second game of the day against Lynden. “It was definitely more tense.”
The loss ended Cedarcrest’s season. The Red Wolves finished second in the Cascade Conference — behind Murphy — and ended the year with a 15-7 record.
“Any playoff experience is always good experience,” said Cedarcrest head coach Scott Goldsberry. “We had a good season.”
At Volunteer Field
Nick Gagner, Tyler Reeves (6) and Christian MacMillian. Levi MaVorhis and Alex Galgano. WP–MaVorhis. LP–Gagner. 2B–Galgano (AM), Marcus Burdyshaw (AM). 3B–Trever Morrison (AM). Records–Cedarcrest 15-7 overall. Archbishop Murphy 22-2.