EVERETT — Just like they did last season, the Cascade baseball team won its first state playoff game.
Unfortunately for the Bruins, just like last season a big inning late doomed them in the state quarterfinals.
History repeated itself for Cascade, which defeated Gig Harbor 8-4 before giving up four runs in the top of the seventh inning in an 8-3 loss to Woodinville Saturday afternoon in the 4A state quarterfinals at Everett Memorial Stadium.
“We were right there,” said Cascade head coach Scott Stencil. “It kind of mirrors our quarterfinal game last year … where we get to 2-1 and then, we just have a bad inning. But tip your cap to Woodinville. They hit the crap out of the ball. They did a good job swinging the bat today. That was an incredible effort by them.”
Woodinville struck first with two runs in the top of the second inning before Cascade tied the score in the bottom of the third thanks to a sacrifice fly by Ky Dye and Taylor Marquardt — who reached base on a Falcons’ error that also allowed a run to score.
The Falcons quickly responded with runs in the fourth and sixth innings. Cascade again benefited from an error in the sixth to get a run back and bring the score to 4-3.
Then the Woodinville offense scored four runs on four hits in the top of the seventh to all but seal the victory for the Falcons.
“They’re well-deserving. I think we’re well-deserving too but we didn’t get it done though and that’s kind of how it goes,” Stencil said. “It was a great effort. I’m proud of all of them. Two years in a row we’ve gotten to that quarterfinal, we just haven’t been able to turn the corner. It hurts, but it is what it is.”
It was a similar finish to last season for Cascade, which trailed Kentridge 2-1 in the state quarterfinals before the Chargers scored four runs in the bottom of the sixth on their way to a 6-1 victory.
“Honestly, I felt like we were meant to win this game,” Stencil said. “I really did. I didn’t think about last year much. I just felt that we were meant to win. Unfortunately, we didn’t. Certainly thoughts go back a little bit when we get to that seventh inning — it was a rough inning for us. Then those thoughts kind of sink in a little bit. But I felt like we could win the game.”
Liam Herlihy batted a perfect 4-for-4 with two RBI to lead Woodinville (16-7 overall). Chris Okura went 2-for-3 with two doubles, two runs scored and an RBI and Trevor Cook (3-for-4) added two doubles and three RBI for the Falcons.
Woodinville’s offense shined for the second time at Everett Memorial Stadium. The Falcons had 12 runs on nine hits in their 12-2 victory over Todd Beamer in the first regional game of the day.
Stencil and the Bruins’ coaching staff watched that first game and noticed how effective Woodinville’s offense was.
“They were very impressive,” Stencil said. “They had a ton of hits (in the Todd Beamer game) also. We were able to hold them down for a good portion and then all of a sudden the floodgates opened. But I thought we played well enough to win, minus that rough patch in the seventh. But sometimes that’s all it takes.”
Senior catcher Von Ferguson led Cascade (20-5) against the Falcons batting 2-for-3 with a run scored. Fellow seniors Dye and K.J. Brady shined in the Bruins’ state opener, with Dye earning the win on the mound and batting 2-for-2 with an RBI. Brady went 2-2 with three RBI, two runs scored and a double against Gig Harbor.
The trio are part of Cascade’s 10 seniors who Stencil credits with helping turn the Bruins’ baseball program around with back-to-back trips to the state quarterfinals.
Stencil hopes the younger Bruins can keep that trend going.
“I hope we can keep rolling,” Stencil said. “Our seniors have set a good precedent with what they’ve done to turn the program around in the last four years and hopefully our younger guys can learn from that and keep the ball rolling next year.”
The Cascade seniors ended a strong 2014 campaign that saw the Bruins reach the 20-win mark and win a district championship.
“It was a great season,” Stencil said. “It’s hard to think about that right now but of course, it was a great season. We’re proud to get to 20 wins and to win the district title for the first time in a long time. We put a lot of work in to get to that point. When we look back, when we have a chance to let it sink in a little bit, we’ll certainly be happy with what we did.”
Woodinville 8, Cascade 3
At Everett Memorial Stadium
Woodinville 020 101 4 – 8 15 3
Cascade 002 001 0 – 3 5 2
Connor White, Trevor Cook (7) and Lee Wunderlich. K.J. Brady, Austin Pinorini (7) and Von Ferguson. WP–White. LP–Brady. 2B–Trevor Cook (W) 2, Chris Okura (W) 2. Records–Woodinville 16-7 overall. Cascade 20-5.
Cascade 8, Gig Harbor 4
At Everett Memorial Stadium
Gig Harbor 010 201 0 – 4 7 2
Cascade 141 020 x – 8 10 5
Matthew Henckel, Conor Scanlan (2) and Mark Sluys. Ky Dye, Austin Pinorini (7) and Von Ferguson. WP–Dye. LP–Henckel. 2B–Cameron McGrath (C), K.J. Brady (C), Patrick Chung (C), Matthew Butler (C). HR–Jon Burghart (GH). Records–Gig Harbor 16-10 overall. Cascade 20-5.