By Aaron Lommers Herald Writer
MUKILTEO — The Cascade and Kamiak baseball teams played two very different games in Friday afternoon’s doubleheader — one a pitchers’ duel, the other a hit parade.
In the end, the teams split the twin bill, Cascade winning the first game 3-2 and Kamiak taking the second 10-6.
Trailing 2-1 going into the bottom of the sixth inning of Game 1, Cascade rallied for two runs. Ryan Lukas hit an RBI single to tie the game at 2-2 and the next batter, Von Ferguson, connected for an RBI single that eventually proved to be the game-winner.
The Bruins overcame a solo home run by Ian Hughes.
“We basically had a couple of kids come up clutch at the right time,” Cascade coach Scott Stencil said. “It was just kind of the right time and right place for those guys and they found holes.”
Little did they know at the time, but the Knights were a mere half inning from sweeping the doubleheader.
“We let it slip away,” Kamiak head coach Steve Merkley said. “I think we stranded eight (base runners) that game. So we had chances to win it.”
With the win, Cascade had an opportunity to lock up second place in the Wesco South with a victory in Game 2, but the bats of the Knights proved too much.
The Knights scored three runs in the first inning, two in the second, four in the third and one in the fourth to take a 10-4 lead over after four innings. Cascade added two runs in the top of the seventh inning to make up the final margin.
Andy Crosby led the Knights’ charge offensively, hitting a two-run double in the bottom of the first and a two-run single in the bottom of the second. In Game 2, Crosby went 2-for-3 at the plate with five RBI.
“He’s our number-two pitcher and, in fact, I just started playing him like eight games ago at third because he was hitting pretty good in the cages because we never get outside to hit because it’s always raining,” Merkley said. “He looked pretty good, so we put him in and he’s been hitting pretty good since. The first game he didn’t hit as well as he had been, but the second game, he had some big hits.”
Alex Nesbett did his part at the plate for the Knights, finishing 2-for-3 with a two-run triple in the third inning. Kamiak’s Austin Seek batted 3-for-4 with a double in the Knights’ Game 2 offensive explosion.
“(Cascade pitcher KJ) Brady has been tough on everybody all year, but that’s just baseball I guess,” Merkley said. “We were kind of on him today. He was getting behind hitters a little bit and we were getting good pitches to hit and hitting them this time instead of taking them. But he’s a good pitcher.”
Brady made it through three innings, giving up nine runs.
After the split, second place in the Wesco South is up for grabs, with Cascade, Kamiak and Jackson all having a shot at the No. 2 seed. Cascade’s regular season is over. Kamiak still has a two-game set with first place Edmonds-Woodway next week.
Aaron Lommers covers prep sports for The Herald. Follow him on twitter @aaronlommers and contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Austin Hansen and Luke McDonough. Kyle Dye, Austin King (6), Trevor DuBois (7) and Michael Mazza. WP-King. LP-Hansen. 2B-DuBois (C). HR-Hughes (K).
KJ Brady, Nate Balk (4), Alex White (6) and Michael Mazza. Brandon Gustafson, Alex Nesbett (7) and Wilson Kessel, Luke McDonough (7). WP Gustafson. LP- Brady. 2B-Andy Crosby (K), Austin Seek (K), Jacob Betancourt (K). 3B- Nesbett (K) Records-Cascade 9-7 league, 13-7 overall. Kamiak 8-6, 9-8