LYNNWOOD — Moises Valadez struggled through the first inning but settled down and tossed a no-hitter to lead the Meadowdale baseball team to a 6-1 win over Shorecrest.
The Mavericks — a young team that graduated nine contributing seniors last year — are having some unexpected success early in their Wesco 3A South season.
“We really are a pretty young baseball team, even though right now we’re winning, there are so many little things we need to improve on. … We’re very pleasantly surprised,” said Meadowdale head coach Bill Hummel.
The Mavericks are undefeated in league play and sit two wins behind 7-0 Shorewood.
In the first inning, Valadez — a junior in his first year on the varsity squad — didn’t look like a pitcher about to throw a no-hitter. He hit the first batter he faced, committed an error, threw a wild ptich, and gave up a sacrifice fly for a run.
After that, Hummel had him “focus on getting ahead in the count, getting some ground balls and fly balls.
“He did a nice job keeping them off balance. Overall he had a pretty good command of all three pitches.”
The Mavericks helped out Valadez with an offensive explosion in the first two innings, with contributions from Kenley Ackerman (3-for-4, two RBI and a double) and Tyler McGuire (2-for-3, an RBI and a double).
“(The runs) allowed him to get pretty comfortable. He pretty much coasted from there on in. He did a good job of throwing strikes.”
Hummel isn’t sure the success will last, with the Maverick’s schedule only getting tougher as the season goes on, but he is happy with the progress his team is making.
“The kids are very coachable, very much with us. They are soaking up a lot of baseball right now. They are working hard to get better.”
At Meadowdale H.S.
Keegan Small, Tyson Maine (5) and Jake Oliver. Moises Valadez and Phil Grossenbacher. WP—Valadex (2-0). LP—Small (1-2). 2B—Tyler McGuire (M), Kenley Ackerman (M). Records—Shorecrest 1-6 league, 2-8 overall. Meadowdale 5-0, 6-2.