SHORELINE — In a showdown of really good teams for the third and final District 1 berth to the Class 3A state baseball tournament, Glacier Peak got the better of Shorewood on Saturday afternoon.
Better, by a bunch.
Behind a dominating mound performance by senior right-hander Tanner Braun, and with an offense that produced 11 hits and 19 total baserunners, the Grizzlies pounded out a convincing 10-1 victory that moves them into next weekend’s state tourney.
And given what he saw on Saturday, Glacier Peak coach Bob Blair has high hopes for his team’s chances.
“We don’t consider ourselves a 3 seed,” Blair said. “We consider ourselves a 1 or a 2 seed that was deprived, and by our own selves.”
After winning their district opener against Oak Harbor, the Grizzlies were defeated in their second game by Meadowdale. The Mavericks, he said, “played a great game, and they deserved to win that game. We did not play our best game, so we learned a lesson about what happens when you don’t play your best game.”
Glacier Peak bounced back with a mid-week win against Stanwood to reach Saturday’s game, and then took apart a Shorewood squad that came into the game with a terrific 20-3 record.
“It was nice to see us come out against a really, really good team and play well like that,” Blair said. “That’s probably one of our best games of the season.”
There were heroes aplenty for the Grizzlies, but the list has to start with Braun. He held Shorewood hitless into the sixth, but with one out T-birds cleanup hitter Ben Andrews launched the first pitch over the left field fence. It turned out to be Shorewood’s only run and only hit of the game.
“(Braun) has been our horse all year long,” Blair said. “We’ve ridden him so many times where we needed a big win. He’s come out, put this team on his shoulders and delivered for us every time.”
Branson Barnecut had three hits with a double, a run and an RBI for Glacier Peak, while Josh May and Sean Elledge each scored twice.
Though they missed the chance to play for a district title, the Grizzlies have high confidence as they look forward to Saturday’s state opener.
“If we put Tanner up against anybody’s No. 1 (pitcher) in the state, I think we can beat anybody,” Blair said. “Our guys can hit the ball, we can put it in play, we can play defense ? and I like our chances as a No. 3 seed against anybody.”
At Meridian Park Fields
Glacier Peak 141 010 3—10 11 1
Shorewood 000 001 0—1 1 2
Tanner Braun and Mitch Pohrman; Riley O’Brien, Ian Oxnevad (2), Ben Tracey (5), Cole McKisson (7) and Harrison Jacobs. WP—Braun. LP O’Brien. 2B—Branson Barnecut (GP), Sean Elledge (GP), Marcos Baruch (GP). HR—Ben Andrews (S). Records—Glacier Peak 18-6 overall. Shorewood 20-4.