SNOHOMISH — In a pitchers’ dual between Lake Stevens starter Jacob Eason and Snohomish’s Ryan Sandifer, the difference would be a fielder’s choice that scored the game’s lone run as the Panthers squeezed out a 1-0 victory over the Vikings in a battle of the top two squads in the Wesco 4A North.
“It was just a great pitching battle today,” said Snohomish head coach Kim Hammons. “It was definitely a playoff atmosphere out there. Eason was throwing the knuckle-curve and Sandifer was his equal. No one could get a hit on either side.”
With the pitching performances and great defensive play behind them, it seemed fitting that the lone run scored on an out. After Snohomish’s Logan Baker reached third base on a Jake Mulholland single, Nolan Smith grounded out to second base, allowing Baker to score.
“There was some great pitching and great defense,” Hammons said. “It really just came down to who could come up with a clutch hit in a clutch situation.”
Lake Stevens had an opportunity to take an early lead in the top half of the second inning. With the bases loaded and one out, Sandifer struck out a Vikings’ batter before coaxing a tapper back to the mound from the next hitter to end the potential rally.
Sandifer’s fifth win of the season brought the Panthers (9-5 in league, 11-5 overall) into a virtual tie with the Vikings (8-4, 10-6) for first place in the 4A North with four games remaining in the regular season.
At Snohomish H.S.
Jacob Eason and Matt Delfante. Ryan Sandifer and Ben Dmochowsky. WP—Sandifer (5-1). LP—Eason (2-1). Records—Lake Stevens 8-4 league, 10-6 overall. Snohomish 9-5, 11-5.