By Michael Anderson / Special to The Herald
YAKIMA – The Lakewood High School baseball team is 0-3 in Class 2A state-title games after Saturday’s 7-2 loss to Port Townsend at Yakima County Stadium.
One thing Lakewood coach Larry Delaney knows for sure. These games aren’t getting any easier.
After a defensive gem in the semifinals, Lakewood’s defense unraveled Saturday in the face of unrelenting pressure from Port Townsend – the Cougars’ committed six errors – and the offense couldn’t string hits together at the right time.
Add in a couple of untimely outs on the bases, and the Cougars again had to stand and watch another team cart off the big silver glove.
“It wasn’t the Cougars’ day,” Delaney said after a brief postgame meeting with his team. “We hit the ball well early, but we gave up five unearned runs. We had six errors.
“This is our third loss in the title game. You cannot do that and win any game.”
Port Townsend went home Saturday night with the first-place trophy thanks in large part to its mother-in-law offensive attack – constant pressure and harassment. The Redskins started slowly but kept the Cougars on their heels defensively – constantly putting the ball in play – in the middle innings when the game was decided.
At the same time, the Redskins’ defense came up big again, allowing just one base runner in the final four innings and making just one error.
Lakewood applied a ton of early offensive pressure to the Redskins – sending 15 men to the plate in the first three innings – but scored just two runs thanks to some sharp Redskin defense.
Lakewood didn’t help itself, getting baserunners thrown out in both innings in which it scored runs. In the first inning, a runner was picked off first. In that inning, the Cougars left the bases loaded.
In the third inning, when Lakewood got its second run, Jake Rife was thrown out trying to steal second just before Kyle Westley singled. Jake Bruns followed that with a single.
Lakewood got a single run in the first on a single by Rife, a stolen base, an error and a single by Bruns.
The Cougars got their run in the third on a double by Tracy Wammack and a single by Westley. It looked like the Cougars had a chance to do some damage, but Rife was thrown out trying to steal second after he singled following Wammack. The Redskins quelled the threat with a one-out double play, stranding Westley .
The Redskins sent nine men to the plate and scored five runs in the bottom of the third thanks to four Cougars errors.
Martin, Kon (4) and Wammack; Cate, Sather (3) and Logue. WP-Sather (4-2). LP-Martin. 2B-Rife (L), Bruns (L), Wammack (L), Johnson (PT) 2, Fountain (PT). Records: Lakewood 20-7, Port Townsend 16-8.