By David Krueger Herald Writer
LAKE STEVENS — Marysville Pilchuck baseball coach Kurt Koshelnik was thoroughly enjoying himself Saturday afternoon.
So were his Tomahawks.
One day after snow hit the Puget Sound, Marysville Pilchuck went to Lake Stevens — a former league rival — and dispatched the Vikings 4-1 under the sun Saturday afternoon.
“The best part of the day was the weather,” Koshelnik said. “The kids are smiling, the sun is shining, we’re on a turf field. It doesn’t get any better than that.”
The Tomahawks scored a run in the top halves of the first and second innings and Marysville Pilchuck starting pitcher Cody Anderson kept Lake Stevens off balance, scattering four hits in four innings while keeping the Vikings scoreless.
“Cody Anderson didn’t need much of a lead today,” Koshelnik said. “He was really good.”
Kyle Nobach got Marysville Pilchuck off to a strong start by lining the first pitch of the game into right center field. Nobach later scored on Kacey Walker’s single.
Walker finished the game 2-for-3 with a walk, RBI and a run scored.
The early lead helped take some of the pressure off Anderson and the rest of the Tomahawks.
“It gives you a little bit of a sense of confidence,” Koshelnik said. “You don’t have to be perfect. A booted ball or a walk isn’t going to kill you when you have a two-run lead.”
Marysville Pilchuck (2-1 overall) added insurance runs in the sixth and seventh innings as the Tomahawks defeated Lake Stevens for the first time in over a year. The Vikings swept Marysville Pilchuck in the teams’ three games last season.
“Lake’s a rival. It’s nonleague now but there’s nothing our kids want more than to beat Lake Stevens,” Koshelnik said. “They had us for a couple years now. I’m proud of them.”
Marysville Pilchuck moved to the 3A classification before the start of the 2012-13 school year, sending it to the Wesco North 3A league, while Lake Stevens remained in 4A.
“Unfortunately, (the Tomahawks) went down to 3A so we only get one opportunity to play them this year,” said Lake Stevens assistant coach Jim Willie. “We have enjoyed the rivalry over the last few years.”
Willie found himself leading the Vikings on Saturday with head coach Rodger Anderson home sick. The coach said that the Vikings’ offense just couldn’t get going.
“I thought our entire pitching staff did a pretty good job today. But offensively we scored one run so we didn’t do much there,” Willie said.
Joey Palmieri drove Lake Stevens’ lone run of the game in on an RBI single in the fifth inning, scoring Gavin O’Neil.
The Vikings found themselves with a good opportunity to score in the bottom of the seventh inning. Thanks to a single and back-to-back walks, Lake Stevens (2-3) had the bases loaded with one out.
Koshelnik went out to the mound to calm down his reliever, Chad Mullins.
“I just said, ‘Throw the ball over the plate. You’ve got guys behind you to make plays,’” Koshelnik said. “He needed a breather. He was working too fast and was getting all excited. He just needed to slow down. ? We had a guy ready to go and if he walked another kid it was time to make a change. It’s always hard at the end.”
The inning started out just how Lake Stevens would have liked, but it couldn’t capitalize on the opportunity.
“We needed three runs, so we needed to go pretty much station to station and a couple walks got us there,” Willie said. “Unfortunately, we didn’t get anything done at the end.”
Palmieri led the Vikings, who never got more than one hit in an inning, batting 2-for-3 with an RBI and a walk.
Koshelnik and Willie said that the nonleague games are a good time to try some new lineups and give players some opportunities to show what they can do.
And of course, both wanted to win.
“I’ve rolled out a couple different shortstops, a couple different first basemen,” Koshelnik said. “We’ve gone through our entire pitching staff now except for one guy. We’re still piecing it together. ? To come out with a ‘W’ was awesome.”
The coaches are just happy to have the sun back out. Or, at least, have the snow gone.
“Actually having the sun back was nice,” Willie said. “We had snow yesterday on the field till about one o’clock. Then right after school it melted off. Having the sun out today was great.”
At Lake Stevens H.S.
M. Pilchuck 110 001 1—4 10 0
Lake Stevens 000 010 0—1 6 0
Cody Anderson, Chad Mullins (5) and Kacey Walker. Taylor Shea, Branden Kelliher (5), Joey Palmieri (6), Skyler Swords (7) and Jimmy Billings, Cody Vigoren (5). WP–Anderson. LP–Shea. 2B–Andrew Alvis (MP), Alex Grey (MP). Records–Marysville Pilchuck 2-1. Lake Stevens 2-3.