By Rich Myhre Herald Writer
SHORELINE — One day after getting humbled by a very good Shorewood baseball team, Meadowdale showed up on Wednesday determined to give a better effort.
The visiting Mavericks did exactly that, battling the Thunderbirds into extra innings before finally bowing on a one-out game-winning single by Shorewood’s Max Wagner in the bottom of the 10th inning. The hit, coming on a 3-2 pitch, scored teammate Spencer Jacobs from third base and gave the T-birds a 5-4 Wesco 3A South victory in a three-hour game at Meridian Park.
Though disappointed with the outcome, “I’m really happy that we came out and competed well,” said Meadowdale coach Bill Hummel. “We told the kids, ‘You stepped into the ring today.’ But (Tuesday) we didn’t.”
The Mavericks lost to Shorewood 9-0 on Tuesday, “and at some point we kind of quit,” Hummel said. “We just didn’t compete very well. That’s all we wanted to do (on Wednesday), just come out and compete. We’re trying to get ready for the district tournament and, honestly, this felt like a district tournament game. … We competed well, and I’m really, really pleased.”
The loss means that Meadowdale (7-7 in league, 9-8 overall) still has some work to do to wrap up a district berth. The Mavericks wrap up their regular season with games against Shorewood on Friday, Stanwood on Monday and Oak Harbor on Tuesday.
Shorewood, meanwhile, is continuing to improve on an already terrific regular-season record. The T-birds are 13-1 in Wesco, 16-1 overall, and will clearly be one of the teams to beat at the district tourney.
“We’re kind of rolling on all cylinders,” acknowledged Shorewood coach Wyatt Tonkin. “But (the players) are not letting up. They’re not satisfied with where we’re at.”
Foremost for the T-birds this season is a quality pitching staff led by starters Sam Boone, Ian Oxnevad and Ben Tracey. “All three of them have just been outstanding all year long,” Tonkin said. “We’ve got a couple of big horses, and when you get those guys you ride them.”
It was Tracey who got the call against Meadowdale on Wednesday and he was steady until the sixth, when he appeared to tire. The Mavericks put three of the first four hitters on base with two hits and a hit batter for one run, at which point Tracey gave way to reliever Cole McKisson. Meadowdale then added three more runs on a single, an infield throwing error and an infield out.
The four-run inning turned a 2-0 deficit into a 4-2 lead, though Shorewood promptly knotted the score in the bottom of the sixth with two singles, a Meadowdale error and another single.
Both teams had great chances to win in the ninth. In the top of the inning, the Mavericks took advantage of three straight Shorewood errors to put runners at second and third with one out. But Shorewood reliever Steffen Torgersen, the eventual winning pitcher, got out of the jam with a strikeout and a fly out.
In their half of the inning, the T-birds loaded the bases on a single, a throwing error on a stolen base that put the runner on third, and two intentional walks. But Mavericks reliever Collin Costello got the second out on a force at home, and then the final out on another fielder’s choice.
But the T-birds made up for that missed opportunity an inning later with a leadoff walk to Jacobs, a sacrifice, a bloop single to right by Aaron Okamura, and Wagner’s soft line drive to center field that dropped in for a hit.
After the game, Tonkin said, “I just told (the team), ‘We did a few things wrong, but we did a lot of things right, and the main thing we did is win.’”
Shorewood was led offensively by Okamura, who was 3-for-5 with a run scored, while four other players had two hits. Meadowdale’s offensive leader was Justin Ridley, who was 3-for-4 with a walk and a run scored.
At Meridian Park
Moises Valadez, Garratt Walsh (7), Collin Costello (9) and Phil Grossenbacher; Ben Tracey, Cole McKisson (6), Steffen Torgersen (8) and Nick Edney. WP—Torgerson (2-0). LP—Costello (0-1). 2B—Grossenbacher (M). Records—Meadowdale 7-7 league, 9-8 overall. Shorewood 13-1, 16-1.