LAKE STEVENS — Late inning heroics from Ryan Walker and a five-run fourth inning proved to be the key in Arlington’s 6-5 victory over Lake Stevens in a Wesco 4A North baseball game on Thursday.
The game was a continuation of a one that had been halted on Tuesday in the second inning due to rain. The extra day seemed to help the Eagles, who trailed 5-0, in their comeback effort.
After the Eagles pushed across five runs in the fourth, both squads failed to have a runner cross home plate until the top of the ninth when Walker hit a go-ahead solo home run to give Arlington a 6-5 lead.
In the bottom half of the ninth, Walker took the mound in relief of starter Tristan Jager. Walker loaded the bases, but used a double-play and a strike out to earn the save and complete the come-from-behind victory for Arlington.
“Ryan has been one of our best hitters all year,” said Eagles head coach Scott Striegel. “The last few days he hasn’t swung that well. He was getting really frustrated with himself. I told him to go out there (today) and just relax and hit the ball hard. He definitely did.”
Despite trailing 5-0, Striegel knew that his team wasn’t about to throw in the towel against the Wesco 4A North’s first-place team.
“I told everybody we just need to chip away and chip away and chip away,” Striegel said. “We had a few failed opportunities to score early in the game, but my guys were going to go ahead and battle. And in the fourth the middle half of our order made things happen.”
The loss was the first in league for Lake Stevens.
“It’s a major confidence booster,” Striegel said of the win. “Honestly we didn’t talk about (Lake Stevens) being undefeated until after the game. This win proved that we can play with anyone and we don’t have to worry about anyone but ourselves.”
At Lake Stevens H.S.
Tristan Jager, Ryan Walker (9) and Josh Schempp. Taylor Shea, Jacob Eason (2), Skyler Swords (5), Jeffery Sevey (9). WP—Jager (2-2). LP—Sevey (0-1). 2B—Justin Brown (LS). HR—Eason (LS), Walker (A). Records—Arlington 3-3 league, 4-6 overall. Lake Stevens 5-1, 7-3.