MUKILTEO — Kamiak battled back from a 9-1 deficit, scoring five in the fifth and five in the sixth to beat Wesco South leading Edmonds-Woodway 11-9.
Kamiak’s victory, coupled with Jackson’s win over Mariner, secures the Knights the No. 3 seed in the upcoming district playoffs, which start Saturday.
Knights reliever Alex Ginestra got his first win of the season, giving up no earned runs, two hits and a single walk after taking over for starter Brandon Gustafson in the fifth inning with two outs and the bases loaded. Ginestra was able to stop the damage there and Kamiak’s offense decided to do him a favor.
The Knight’s bats started to heat up and two runs were already in when Jake Bettencourt came up in the fifth and hit a two-run home run to make it 9-5. A big Alex Pettibone hit in the sixth also contributed to the rally. By the time the last out was recorded in the bottom of the sixth, Kamiak led 11-9.
According to Kamiak coach Steve Merkley some pitching decisions by the Warriors and the weather were both factors in the later innings. “They already won the league. They were saving their pitchers I’m sure,” Merkley said of the Warriors. “They didn’t bring in their big guns.”
The pitchers they did bring in had trouble when it started to rain. “It was kind of sloppy and they couldn’t find the strike zone,” said Merkley.
Kamiak has one more regular-season game, a nonleague makeup with Blanchet on Wednesday, which is Senior Day.
Merkley said he wasn’t doing anything special to prepare for the playoffs, just working on what they had been working on all year. He did tell his team one thing: “I told the team today that if we go undefeated in May we are state champions.”
At Kamiak H.S.
Bryce Mezich, Chantz Justice (5) and Tate Budnick. Brandon Gustafson, Alex Ginestra (5) and Luke McDonough, Wilson Kessel (5). WP—Ginestra (1-0). LP—Justice. 2B—Patrick Bernard (E-W) 1, Andrew Crosby (K) 1, Jake Bettencourt (K) 1, Alex Pettibone (K) 2. HR—Bettencourt 1. Records—Edmonds-Woodway 12-4 league, 15-5 overall. Kamiak 9-7, 10-9.