ARLINGTON — The Arlington High School baseball team didn’t get discouraged after squandering a bases-loaded, no-outs opportunity in the fourth inning.
Instead, the Eagles responded in the following frame with a two-out scoring barrage that broke open Friday’s showdown between Wesco 3A powers.
Arlington scored five runs in the fifth — all with two outs — and held on for a 5-3 win over a visiting Shorewood team that was coming off a two-day, 15-inning marathon.
“Once one person gets going, it’s the domino effect,” Arlington senior Jared Bailey said of his team’s two-out success in the fifth. “Everybody just stays up, and it keeps going.”
The Eagles (14-3 overall, 12-3 Wesco 3A) appeared primed to break a scoreless tie in the bottom of the fourth after loading the bases with no outs. But Arlington failed to capitalize, stranding all three runners after a hard-luck lineout to shortstop resulted in an inning-ending double play.
Yet even after falling into a 1-0 hole in the top of the fifth, the Eagles stayed the course. Arlington batted through the order in the bottom half of the frame while scoring five runs on three hits, two errors and three walks.
“We just didn’t think too much of it,” Bailey said of the fourth-inning missed chance. “It didn’t get to our heads … We just stayed in there and kept fighting.”
Arlington junior Gavin Rork began the fifth-inning scoring spree with a two-out RBI single into left field that tied the game at 1 apiece. Bailey, the ensuing batter, then crushed an RBI triple to the right-field fence to give the Eagles a 2-1 lead.
Tristan Sheward followed with a deep fly ball that was misjudged by Shorewood’s center fielder, allowing another run to score.
Jack Sheward then hit a hard grounder to third base that took a bad hop off the lip of the infield and went between the third baseman’s legs, extending Arlington’s lead to 4-1. Shorewood walked the next three batters to make it 5-1.
“We’ve done that a lot this year,” Eagles coach Scott Striegel said of his team’s two-out hitting. “They just continue to battle, and so that’s been real fun to see.”
The Thunderbirds (10-4, 8-3) rallied in the top of the seventh, cutting the deficit to 5-3 and putting runners on the corners with two outs. Shorewood cleanup hitter Jake Fredrickson followed with a hard grounder to third base, but Arlington’s Andrew Smith made a nice backhanded snag and fired to first for the game’s final out.
It was the 10th win in 11 games for the Eagles, who hold a one-game lead over Snohomish for first place in the Wesco 3A North.
Arlington senior Tristan Sheward pitched 6 1/3 innings and allowed two earned runs while scattering eight hits.
“He really didn’t have his best stuff today,” Striegel said. “You could see it early — he just didn’t have the same pop that he normally has. But even though he didn’t have (his best) stuff, he still battled, changed locations, changed speeds and forced them to put the ball in play.”
Shorewood entered the game low on pitching after earning a two-day, 15-inning win over Shorecrest that began with 13 innings Wednesday and two more on Thursday.
“That kind of took a lot out of us,” said longtime Shorewood coach Wyatt Tonkin, who earned his 300th career victory in the 15-inning contest.
Thunderbirds reliever Skyler Manelski got the start Friday and tossed four scoreless innings before surrendering two earned runs in the fifth and exiting later in the frame.
Shorewood sits at second place in the Wesco 3A South, trailing first-place Edmonds-Woodway by 1.5 games. The Thunderbirds have won at least a share of the Wesco 3A South title each of the last four seasons.