Cascade baseball team drops heartbreaker to Mount Vernon

The Bruins let a late lead slip away and lose 5-2 to fall one win short of a state berth.

EVERETT — The Cascade baseball team’s success-filled season ended in heartbreaking fashion.

Leading by a run in the top of the seventh inning, the Bruins were one strike from punching their ticket to state when Mount Vernon’s Dylan Cyr lofted a deep fly ball that Cascade’s center fielder appeared to lose in the sun. The ball hit off his glove, allowing the tying and go-ahead runs to score.

The third-seeded Bulldogs then added two more insurance runs and earned their first state berth since 2012, beating top-seeded Cascade 5-2 in the loser-out Class 4A Northwest District tournament second-place game Saturday morning at Everett Memorial Stadium.

After winning the Wesco 4A regular-season crown and reaching the district title game, the Bruins (17-5) ended the year with back-to-back losses.

“Only one team gets to win their last game,” Cascade coach David Benson said. “Unfortunately we didn’t get to do that, but this is a tremendous group. … I would’ve liked to give them a send-off to state, but unfortunately the ball didn’t fall our way today.”

Cascade senior Brett Gillis allowed no earned runs and six hits in 6 2/3 innings pitched. The right-hander struck out 14 batters and walked only one.

Mount Vernon senior pitcher Ryan Morrill yielded two runs and nine hits in 6 2/3 innings. He posted seven strikeouts and no walks.

Cascade scored two runs in the first inning on three hits and a sacrifice fly. Mount Vernon (16-8) scored in the fourth to trim the Bruins’ lead to 2-1.

Cascade had a chance to extend its lead in the bottom of the sixth, but Mount Vernon center fielder Ian Fitzgerald threw out a runner at the plate to keep it a one-run game.

Then after Gillis retired the first two Bulldogs in the top of the seventh, Travis Oord singled and Fitzgerald walked to kickstart Mount Vernon’s four-run inning.

“It’s a tough one,” Benson said. “It stings at the end, but we had a great season. … I love this group.”

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