EVERETT — One big inning is all it took for the Cascade baseball team to hand Everett its first loss of the season.
The Bruins’ 9-1 victory may look like a dominating win, but the two teams played an even game with the exception of the top of the third inning when Cascade scored eight runs on seven hits.
“Sometimes hitting is contagious,” Cascade head coach Scott Stencil said. “A couple of guys get some things going and then a guy gets a big hit and then another guy gets a big hit. That’s just kind of how things flow. Sometimes those big innings just happen.
“A lot of times in baseball you give up one big inning and it kind of changes the whole game. I think the game was well-played by both teams, except we did have that one big (inning) and that was really the difference.”
The Bruins (2-4) took a 1-0 lead in the first inning with a sacrifice fly before opening things up in the top of the third. Juniors Andrew Scheuffele and Brandon Porter each had two-run singles in the inning for the Bruins.
Like Stencil, Everett head coach Alex Barashkoff said the third inning was undoubtedly the difference.
“It was a tough one inning, otherwise I thought we played pretty good ball for six of the seven (innings),” Barashkoff said. “You can’t do that against a good team.”
The Seagulls came into the game 3-0, which didn’t go unnoticed by the crosstown-rival Bruins.
“We talked about it all week that they are rolling right now and playing really good baseball,” Stencil said. “Even though it’s a non-league (game), it’s a rivalry. It’s been a rivalry for so many years, so we always want to come out and play a good game.”
Senior Jake Kirschner did his part at the plate. He finished the game 3-for-3 with a double and three runs scored.
“Jake’s seeing the ball real well right now,” Stencil said. “He’s one of our hardest workers. He’s a guy that started off real well last year and then kind of had a little bit of adversity with a minor injury and it kind of changed his season a little bit. But he’s a guy that always works and stays late and hits and he’s starting to see the benefits of that and it’s exciting to see for him.”
Stencil said the Bruins will rely on Kirschner, the team’s leadoff hitter, to jumpstart the offense this season. He did on Friday, reaching base four times.
Senior Cameron McGrath started on the mound for Bruins and picked up the win. He scattered several hits, but allowed only the one run in five innings of work.
“He’s never really pitched for us, but we’re a little short-handed on pitching so he said he wanted to come throw the ball,” Stencil said. “He’s a competitor, so we definitely wanted to give him a chance to see what he could do. It was his first career win and I thought he threw it well.”
Stencil said McGrath will continue to be the team’s starting shortstop and likely will handle the starting pitching duties on Fridays.
At Memorial Stadium
WP: Cameron McGrath. LP: Greene. Individual highlights: Jake Kirschner (3-3, 2B, 3 R), Andrew Scheuffele (2 RBI), McGrath (2-4); Everett—Nick Mardesich (2-3, 2B), Brandon Johnson (RBI), Greene (2-3, 2B). Records—Cascade 2-4 overall. Everett 3-1.
Aaron Lommers covers prep sports for The Herald. Follow him on Twitter at @aaronlommers and contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.