By David Krueger Herald Writer
MOUNTLAKE TERRACE — The only person who could get to Mountlake Terrace starting pitcher Dominic DeMiero was Matt Hill, his Meadowdale counterpart.
DeMiero, who has played with or against Hill on select teams since the two were about 7-years-old, was hit by a pitch from his friend in the bottom of the fourth inning. The pitch came up and inside, slamming into DeMiero’s left (throwing) hand. With a swollen hand, DeMiero — who had not given up a hit — was taken out of the game.
The Hawks’ offense responded to the loss of DeMiero by scoring twice in the inning on a two-run triple by Elliott Nebel. They added a solo home run in the fifth inning by Jaden Yackley, which proved to be the game-winning run, and defeated Meadowdale 3-2 in the first of a three-game Wesco 3A South series at Mountlake Terrace High School.
“He was fantastic,” Hawks head coach Andrew Watters said of DeMiero. “Just a bad break. In the next few days we’ll see how he’s doing and hopefully he’ll be OK. We’ll just have to see.”
DeMiero had struck out six batters, walked just one and had held Meadowdale hitless in the first four innings. After getting hit to lead off the bottom of the fourth, DeMiero walked to first base and tried to stay in the game before a courtesy runner was sent out for him.
Raiden Silva came out to pitch for Mountlake Terrace in the top of the fifth inning.
“We were all a little worried when Dom went down,” Nebel said. “He’s our ace out there. When Raiden came in — and Ben (Reijonen) later on — and shut them down, it felt good for our whole team.”
Nebel got the Hawks’ offense going with a two-run triple with two outs that put Mountlake Terrace, which had lost four consecutive games coming in, out in front.
“I was trying to put the ball in play,” Nebel said. “My first (at-bat) I got up there and I think I had a three-pitch strikeout and I was out of there. So I wanted to put the ball in play and it worked out.”
The next inning, Yackley homered. It was the first time Yackley, a junior, has cleared the outfield fence in his career. He didn’t even realize what had happened until he passed second base.
“I don’t really hit home runs a lot so I didn’t really know,” Yackley said. “I came out of (the swing) thinking I’ll get a double or a triple out of this. Then I looked up right as I rounded second and saw it had sailed over. I was pretty happy.”
“Jaden’s a really good hitter,” Watters said. “He’s had a great year at the plate. There’s not a better guy to see do that.”
Trailing 3-0, Meadowdale made it close in the top of the sixth inning on Parker Coffey’s two-RBI single.
Ben Reijonen pitched the seventh inning to earn the save. DeMiero (1-2) got his first win of the season despite exiting the game early.
After losing a game to Marysville Pilchuck and being swept by Wesco 3A South-leading Shorewood (14-0 overall), Mountlake Terrace (4-6 league, 5-8 overall) was eager to get the victory. The Hawks now trail Meadowdale (6-4, 8-5) by two games in the standings.
“This is a huge series,” Watters said. “Meadowdale’s a very good team and we’re both teams that are playoff contenders. It was big for us just to get a win after losing four straight. We played well against Shorewood, so I think we came in with confidence. It was good for us to play another tough game and for us to come out on top that was nice for us. … That was a good step for us, just to get a ‘W’ right there.”
Watters and the Hawks hope Mountlake Terrace can pick up some momentum and get a different kind of streak going.
“It’s definitely added confidence getting that first win out of the way,” Nebel said. “We know we can beat them now and we’re ready for two more.”
At Mountlake Terrace H.S.
Meadowdale 000 002 0 — 2 2 0
Mountlake Terrace 000 210 x — 3 5 3
Matt Hill, Spenser Hollis (5) and Phillip Grossenbacher. Dominic DeMiero, Raiden Silva (5), Ben Reijonen (7) and Wyatt Allemann. WP—DeMiero (1-2). LP—Hill. S—Reijonen. 2B—Daniel Theis (MT). 3B—Elliott Nebel (MT). HR—Jaden Yackley (MT). Records—Mountlake Terrace 4-6 league, 5-8 overall. Meadowdale 6-4, 8-5.