SNOHOMISH — Marysville Pilchuck’s Brandon Moser chose the day that his coach asked him to show what he could do in the field to show him what he could do at the plate.
Moser got his first start in the field this season against Snohomish on Friday and made the most of it, leading MP to a 19-3 win. The senior batted 4-for-6 with three doubles, two runs scored and seven RBI.
“He started out in right field because our starting pitcher Luton usually plays right field and boy he made the most of it,” Marysville Pilchuck coach Kurt Koshelnik said. “He’s going to make it tough going forward. I’m really proud of him. He’s been in our program the whole time. He’s a senior guy that you root for and he picked a good spot today.”
Moser also pitches for the Tomahawks, but after his performance on Friday, you could understand his new found excitement for playing in the field and getting regular at-bats.
“It feels pretty good,” Moser said. “It’s crazy. I think I like playing in the field more than pitching now.”
Moser wasn’t the only Tomahawks player who hit. In all, Marysville Pilchuck collected 15 hits and seemed to seemed to string together walks and hits all game long to maximize the offensive damage they were doing to the Panthers.
“We did take advantage of opportunities, Koshelnik said. “What we try to do at Marysville baseball is be a bit of a free-swinging team and sometimes that gets us in trouble, but the kids were patient when they needed to be patient today. When they got pitches, they put good swings on them. It was a good combination of patience and aggressiveness.”
Jake Johnson hit a three-run home run and John Naff batted 2-for-3 with three runs scored and three RBI for the Tomahawks.
The Marysville Pilchuck hitters were cushioned by the pitching performance that it they got from sophomore Jake Luton. Luton pitched 41/3 innings, scattering five hits and striking out three.
“He gave us five great innings and then he just started struggling locating,” Koshelnik said. “I think he was just getting tired. We throw him quite a bit before the games to make sure he’s good and loose. He’s kind of a slow starter, so he really likes throw a bunch of pitches before and I think he just got a little bit tired. It’s really early in the season, but when he’s out there he gives us everything he’s got and when he’s locating, he’s real good.”
When Luton left the game, his replacement Alex Gray entered the game in a bit of a precarious position. Snohomish was at the plate with only one out and the bases loaded — Gray didn’t flinch, getting Haakon Lande to ground into a 4-6-3 double play.
“He came in with bases loaded and one out when we were in a little bit of trouble there and he got one pitch and he got a double-play ball,” Koshelnik said. “He’s been doing that for us. It’s fun to watch. He goes in there and good things happen.”
The Tomahawks escaped trouble in the fifth and would do it again in the bottom of the sixth. The Panthers were trailing 8-3 with runners on first and second and two outs in the inning. Snohomish’s Tanner Arrington put a charge into a ball hit to left field, but Bryce Minnch made a diving catch to end the inning and keep the Panthers from adding any more runs.
“He made a great catch,” Koshelnik said. “That was a huge catch, especially if it gets by him, that scores a couple of runs. I think it was 8-3 at that point … then we are starting to squeeze things a little bit. So yeah, I can’t just give credit to one guy. It was a good team game today. I’m proud of my guys.”
It may have appeared that the Tomahawks needed the catch at the time, but that was before MP went off for 11 runs in the top of the seventh inning to put the game out of reach for the Panthers.
The inning saw 17 batters come to the plate for Marysville and was highlighted by two Moser doubles, which accounted for four of his seven RBI and the first-career home run for Josh Johnson, who hit a three-run shot over the right center-field wall in a pinch-hit appearance. Johnson is the team’s No. 1 pitcher and doesn’t get many at-bats for the Tomahawks.
“That’s probably his fifth or sixth at-bat as a Tomahawk,” Koshelnik said. “… He came up there and put a charge into one.”
Ben Dmochowsky batted 3-for-3 and Mitch McCulley batted 2-for-4 to lead the Panthers offensively.
At Snohomish H.S.
Jakob Luton, Alex Grey (5) and Kacey Walker. Cormick Rizzo, Casey Flitsch (4), Douglas Gove (5), Joshua Baird (7), Garrett Stich (7) and Ben Johnston. WP—Luton (3-0). LP—Rizzo. 2B—Kyle Nobach (MP), Brandon Dormaier (MP), Brandon Moser (MP) 3. HR—Jakob Johnson (MP). Records—Marysville Pilchuck 5-0 league, 8-1 overall. Snohomish 3-2, 5-5.