MOUNT VERNON — The Everett High School baseball team checked off a long list of milestones during this massive turnaround of a season.
The Seagulls notched their first winning campaign in more than a decade. They earned their first postseason victory in nine years. They reached state for the first time in nearly a quarter-century. They claimed a district title.
But after a spring full of landmark accomplishments for Everett’s long-struggling program, the Seagulls will have to wait at least a bit longer for their second-ever state victory.
Everett’s milestone-filled season ended with a 6-2 loss to Peninsula in a Class 3A state regional opening-round game Saturday afternoon at Sherman Anderson Field.
“They’ve set the parameters for our kids (going forward),” Seagulls coach Alex Barashkoff said of this team’s legacy. “The bar is up here now, and that’s what we’re going to play to. … The standard is up here. Now these kids expect to win.”
Everett (18-6) entered Saturday averaging 7.1 runs per game, but mustered just three hits against Peninsula. Trent Buchanan pitched 5 2/3 innings for the Seahawks, allowing just two runs and three hits. The right-hander took a one-hitter into the sixth and finished with 10 strikeouts and four walks.
“Their pitcher did a really good job,” Barashkoff said. “(And) when we did get base-runners on, he didn’t let anything happen. … He mixed it up well. He threw a straight changeup that gave our kids a fit.”
Peninsula (19-7) broke a scoreless tie with a four-run fourth inning. The Seahawks plated their first run on a sacrifice fly, then strung together four consecutive two-out singles to build a 4-0 lead.
Peninsula added one run apiece in the fifth and sixth innings to stretch it to 6-0.
Everett got on the board with a pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth, sparking some “Let’s go Everett!” chants from the Seagulls faithful in attendance for the program’s first state contest since 1995. Everett had the bases loaded and a chance to further narrow the gap, but Peninsula quelled the threat with an inning-ending groundout.
“I was proud of the way our kids battled back and made it a game at the end,” Barashkoff said. “We got some hits there and got a rally going, (but it) just didn’t come all the way to fruition.”
The Seahawks then shut down Everett in the seventh to advance to the regional final later in the afternoon, where they lost 12-4 to O’Dea.
“(Peninsula) played solid,” Barashkoff said. “You’ve gotta just give them the credit. … Today, they were better.”
For the Seagulls, the loss snapped a 10-game win streak and ended a special season. But after soaring to an 18-win campaign full of breakthroughs, Barashkoff said he’s excited about the program’s trajectory and the culture this senior class helped instill.
“Our kids now expect to do this every year, so let’s hope that they follow in the footsteps of this last senior group,” he said. “And I think they will. … We have a lot of kids coming back, and they’re excited and they’re going to work hard — and you can give the credit to the seniors.”