LAKE STEVENS — The Lake Stevens High School baseball team is not only loaded with great hitters, but hitters who are extremely efficient. That efficiency was on display Friday night as the Vikings earned a 7-1 non-conference win over Jackson.
It was a convincing victory for the Vikings over a team that was overwhelmingly picked by coaches to win the Wesco South. The Timberwolves are coming off a second-place finish at the Class 4A state championships last May.
The Vikings had Friday’s game circled on their calenders, but not just because of the success the Timberwolves enjoyed a season ago.
“We did, in part for that reason, but last year Jackson came in here and we jumped out on them early and then they just came back and smoked us,” Lake Stevens assistant coach Mike Hodgins said. “We wanted to redeem ourselves in the eyes of ourselves. We wanted to give them a much better game than we gave them last year because we knew they were a good quality ballclub coming in here, so we just wanted to make it more competitive than last year, which I thought we did.”
Lake Stevens scored seven runs on just nine hits and had at least one run in four of the six innings in which it hit.
“I thought the kids had some good at-bats and put some good swings on some pitches to hit and everybody contributed,” Hodgins said.
The Timberwolves jumped on top in the first inning with Robert Brensic’s RBI double. They held the lead through the bottom of the first inning as Sam Brown sat the Vikings down in order.
Then the Vikings hitters found their stride. Jackson would bring out a new pitcher in each of the next three innings and Lake Stevens was able to get to each one of them, scoring two runs apiece in the second, third and fifth innings, and one in the fourth. Logan Merrill, who finished 2-for-3 with three RBI, had a two-run single in the second inning, Jake Nelson had an RBI double in the third, and Wade Curtis had an RBI double in the fourth.
Christian Shouman introduced a little power into the equation in the fifth inning, driving a pitch over the left-field wall for his first home run of the season.
“I was definitely looking for something up in the zone,” Shouman said. “I haven’t been swinging the bat that well as of late. I’ve been having problems lately with pitch selection and stuff so I just went up there looking for one pitch in one spot and I got it.”
Shouman said the Vikings’ efficiency is the result of their unselfish nature.
“This team is different than any team I’ve been on in the past,” Shouman said. “We are very team oriented. We want everybody to get the hits, it’s not just coming from one person. We’ve got great players like Dylan (Lavelle) and (Anthony) Blackie out for the first game and the jamboree and we come through with timely hitting and great contributions with all of the team.”
Blackie missed the first game with an illness, but returned Friday and was the Vikings’ starting pitcher. Lavelle is expected to miss 2-4 more weeks with a dislocated shoulder.
At Lake Stevens H.S.
Brown, Brensic (2), Beasley (3), Lang (4), Kisena (6) and Johansen. Blackie, Kelliher (3), Nelson (5), Lanto (7) and Merrill. WP—Blackie (1-0). LP—Brensic (0-1). 2B—Curtis (LS), Nelson (LS), Brensic (J). HR—Shouman (LS). Records—Lake Stevens 2-0. Jackson 0-1.