Lake Washington rallies to eliminate Ed.-Woodway baseball from state

The Kangaroos pull ahead with 3 runs in the 6th and hand the Warriors a season-ending 3-1 loss in a 3A state regional.

SNOQUALMIE — Gibby Marshall-Inman was having another dominant performance on the mound for the Edmonds-Woodway High School baseball team.

So when the Warriors pushed across a run to break a scoreless deadlock in the fifth inning, it looked like that could be all they needed.

But the reigning 2019 state champs had other ideas.

No. 2 seed Lake Washington pulled ahead with a three-run sixth and handed No. 15 seed Edmonds-Woodway a season-ending 3-1 loss in a Class 3A state regional round-of-16 matchup Saturday morning at Mount Si High School.

“We were right there,” Warriors coach Dan Somoza said. “We had a chance to win that game up 1-0 in the bottom of the sixth. And we just couldn’t hold on to it. But that’s baseball.”

Marshall-Inman, an Oregon State University commit and one of the state’s top senior pitching recruits, used his devastating fastball-changeup-curveball mix to keep Lake Washington’s lineup in check for most of the game.

The 6-foot-6 right-hander didn’t allow a hit until the fifth inning and took a shutout into the sixth. At that point, he’d pitched 30 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run.

“Gibby was outstanding,” Somoza said. “I don’t even think they hit a ball really that hard.”

But in the bottom of the sixth, Lake Washington (18-6) broke through.

With the Kangaroos facing a 1-0 deficit, Drew Allred took a leadoff walk, advanced to second on a groundout and reached third on a wild pitch. Colton Kennedy, the ensuing batter, then lined a one-out single up the middle to bring home Allred for the tying run.

Kennedy advanced to second on the throw home, which left first base open and prompted Edmonds-Woodway (15-11) to intentionally walk cleanup hitter Alex Hartnett. Marshall-Inman then hit the ensuing batter, which loaded the bases with one out.

With the Warriors’ infield playing in for a potential play at the plate, Evan Galle followed with a go-ahead single on a groundball that perfectly split Edmonds-Woodway’s shortstop and third baseman. Both players dived for the ball, but it bounced just beyond their reaches and into left field.

“Two feet to the left, it goes to our third baseman instead of going through,” Somoza said. “And that’s sort of what broke it open for them.”

Paxton Fenberg, the next batter, executed a squeeze bunt to bring home an insurance run that stretched Lake Washington’s lead to 3-1.

Kennedy, the Kangaroos’ ace, retired the Warriors in order in the top of the seventh to seal the victory and end Edmonds-Woodway’s season.

“There’s never a good way to end the season, unless you win it all,” Somoza said. “And only one team gets to do that.”

Marshall-Inman allowed three runs and three hits in six innings pitched. He finished with four strikeouts and four walks.

Kennedy countered with a brilliant complete-game performance. The senior right-hander struck out 11 of the 24 batters he faced and allowed just one run, three hits and one walk. He limited the Warriors to just five base runners.

“He was throwing 89, 90 (mph) at us,” Somoza said. “… He just challenged us, and we just couldn’t get that bat on the ball today. (And) we didn’t execute like we should’ve in the first three innings to get our bunts down, but it is what it is. So hats off to them.”

The game was scoreless until the top of the fifth, when Edmonds-Woodway junior Drew Warner blooped a two-out single into shallow center field. Thomas Schults, a sophomore, then lined an opposite-field double into the left-center field gap to put runners on second and third.

During the ensuing at-bat, Warner broke for home on a wild pitch and scored to give the Warriors a 1-0 lead.

In the bottom of the fifth, Schults had two massive plays at catcher to help keep Lake Washington off the board.

After a leadoff single and a wild pitch put a runner on second with no outs, the Kangaroos attempted a sacrifice bunt. But Schults fielded the bunt on a high bounce in front of the plate and threw out the runner at third.

During the next at-bat, Lake Washington tried to steal second to put a runner back in scoring position. But Schults came through again, firing a strike to throw out the runner at second.

Schults finished 2-for-2 with a double at the plate, along with his pair of fifth-inning throwouts.

“Thomas was outstanding today,” Somoza said. “… For a sophomore, he showed a lot of moxie out there. It was fun to watch.”

The Kangaroos, who captured the 3A state title in 2019, advanced to the regional final later in the afternoon. They lost the regional final 5-4 to No. 10 seed Mt. Spokane, falling one win short of a return trip to Pasco for the 3A state final four.

For Edmonds-Woodway, its loss marked the end of another successful season.

The Warriors won three straight postseason games to reach the 3A District 1 Tournament championship game. And after suffering an extra-inning loss to Lynnwood in the district title game, they bounced back to beat No. 18 seed Gig Harbor with a walkoff extra-inning victory in the 3A state play-in round, which earned them their fourth consecutive trip to the state regionals.

“I’m very proud of this team,” Somoza said. “Getting to state is our number one goal every year, and this is our fourth (straight time) doing it. And we had outstanding senior leaders. They’re gonna be great men on the field and off the field.

“Today, it didn’t go our way,” he added. “And that’s OK. I’m very proud of everything they’ve done this year. We had our backs against the wall several times, and they answered.”

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