By Aaron Swaney Herald Writer
ANACORTES — The Archbishop Murphy baseball team got a pair of strong outings on the mound and some clutch hits to sweep Cedarcrest and Lynden on Saturday, locking up a state berth and taking third place in the 2A District 1/2 Tournament.
Archbishop Murphy staved off Cascade Conference-rival Cedarcrest 4-3 in the first game of the day, and shut out Lynden a few hours later to lock up a third-place finish.
“Coming into the season we had a brand new team, but they kept on playing, staying in games and really developed some confidence,” said Archbishop Murphy head coach Stan Taloff.
“It’s just a joy for this team to be in the state tournament.”
The Wildcats play Fife in a state regional game at Cedarcrst H.S. at 10 a.m. on Saturday.
Coming off of a 14-inning marathon loss to Lake Washington on Tuesday, Archbishop Murphy had to get past a familiar foe in Cedarcrest in the winner-to-state consolation bracket game at noon. Besides a stumble in the sixth inning, Ryan Dorney was strong on the mound for the Wildcats in the win.
Dorney worked out of a number of jams throughout the game, leaving seven runners on base and limiting the Red Wolves to just four hits. Aided by errors and walks, Cedarcrest loaded the bases three times, but could only push runners across the plate in a three-run sixth inning.
With the Wildcats clinging to a 4-3 lead, the right-hander returned in the seventh and got Cedarcrest out in order in to end the game and clinch a state berth for Archbishop Murphy.
“He came out and gutted it out in the seventh,” Taloff said of Dorney. “He’s been doing that for us all year.”
Archbishop Murphy scored two runs on four straight singles, including RBI singles by Cole Brandt and Sean Clancy, in the bottom of the third to take a 2-0 lead. An inning later, Houston Schmutz knocked in Evan Haugen and Steve Papagayo with a two-run double to give the Wildcats a four-run lead.
Haugen was the star of the third-place game. The Wildcats junior scattered four hits and stranded five runners on base to lead Archbishop Murphy past Lynden. It wasn’t a normal pitching performance. Haugen didn’t strike out a batter, walked only one and got 17 outs by fly out.
“Evan doesn’t walk many batters and he really trusts his stuff,” Taloff said. “He did a great job of changing speeds and getting them off balance and our outfield ran down some hard hit ball.”
Murphy left fielder Cole Brandt had six putouts by himself and right fielder Tyler Klaudt ran down and made a nice catch on a deep fly ball by Lynden’s Kody Ames for the first out of the seventh inning.
Offensively, Brandt led Murphy, going 3-for-3 with two stolen bases and a run scored. In the bottom of the third, Clancy knocked in Brandt for the first run of the game after Brandt singled with two outs and stole second base.
The Wildcats got an insurance run with more two-out magic in the sixth. Conner Longoria singled to right field and took second on a Klaudt single. Papagayo knocked in Longoria with the fourth hit of the inning.
At Daniels Field
Lynden 000 000 0 — 0 4 1
Arch. Murphy 001 001 x — 2 8 1
Evan Haugen and Aidan White. Christian Mouat and Carson Smith. WP—Haugen (4-2). LP—Mouat. Records—Lynden 15-9 overall. Archbishop Murphy 16-8.
At Daniels Field
Cedarcrest 000 003 0 — 3 4 0
Arch. Murphy 002 200 x — 4 7 3
Adam Davenport and Blaine Wagner. Ryan Dorney and Ernie Gamboa. WP—Dorney (7-3). LP—Davenport (4-4). 2B—Houston Schmutz (AM). Records—Cedarcrest 13-10 overall. Archbishop Murphy 16-8.