Lynnwood sophomore Jace Hampson yells in celebration after the Royals clinched a state berth with a 3-2 win over Meadowdale in a Class 3A District 1 Tournament semifinal Tuesday night at Funko Field. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Lynnwood sophomore Jace Hampson yells in celebration after the Royals clinched a state berth with a 3-2 win over Meadowdale in a Class 3A District 1 Tournament semifinal Tuesday night at Funko Field. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Lynnwood baseball edges Meadowdale, clinches state berth with tense win

The Royals escape numerous jams and punch their ticket to state with a 3-2 win over the Mavericks in the 3A District 1 semis.

EVERETT — Time and time again, Meadowdale kept threatening to tie or take the lead.

But Lynnwood kept coming up with big punchouts and key defensive plays to escape jams.

And after prevailing for a white-knuckle win over their rival, the Royals are headed to state.

The top-seeded Lynnwood High School baseball team clinched its first state berth since 2016 with a tense 3-2 victory over fourth-seeded Meadowdale in a Class 3A District 1 Tournament semifinal Tuesday evening at Funko Field.

“It was a total team effort,” first-year Royals coach Scott Watson said. “Everyone contributed today. Sac bunts, pitching, defense. I mean, everything.”

Lynnwood (14-7) and Meadowdale (13-8) entered this district semifinal clash as equals in seemingly every sense. They split the Wesco 3A/2A South title. They split their two-game regular-season series. They had identical overall records.

So fittingly, this latest encounter was an edge-of-the-seat affair.

Trailing 3-1 in the top of the seventh, Meadowdale’s Nolan Webster drew a leadoff walk and Zaid Flynn reached on a one-out throwing error to put runners on second and third.

Broderick Bluhm then pulled a hard-hit grounder down the first-base line that looked like trouble for the Royals.

But Lynnwood senior first baseman Mason Lane blocked the ball with a diving stop, and then picked it up and dived to tag the bag for a key out. A run scored to make it 3-2, but Lane’s stellar defensive play likely kept the tying run from coming home.

“That was clutch,” Watson said. “That was a big play right there. That was a momentum-killer.”

That brought Meadowdale’s No. 3 hitter to the plate, with the tying run on third and two outs.

Lynnwood senior reliever Tommy McMahon, who entered in the previous inning, stayed cool under pressure. He froze the batter for a game-ending called third strike, which sent the Royals into a frenzied celebration.

“I live for those moments,” McMahon said. “Personally, I feel like our team, we don’t fold under pressure.”

Lynnwood second baseman Leyon Camantigue fields a ground ball. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Lynnwood second baseman Leyon Camantigue fields a ground ball. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Lynnwood, indeed, faced numerous pressure-packed situations over the final few innings. But the Royals kept wiggling out of tight spots. Meadowdale left seven runners on base and stranded five in scoring position.

“We try to stay even-keel — don’t get too excited, don’t get too low,” Watson said of his team’s composure in those high-leverage moments.

In the top of the fourth, Meadowdale’s first two batters reached base. But Lynnwood starter Keenan Masters struck out the next two hitters on filthy curveballs and induced an inning-ending flyout.

In the fifth, Meadowdale’s Nicholas Zardis launched a one-out triple over the right fielder’s head. But Masters escaped trouble again, inducing a popout and an inning-ending strikeout on another hard-breaking curve.

Meadowdale threatened again in the sixth, putting runners on first and second with no outs. The ensuing batter then sent a fly ball to Lynnwood freshman left fielder Sergio Navarro, who made the catch. The runner on second tried to tag up, but Navarro fired a one-hop strike and gunned him out at third base for a pivotal double play that helped the Royals preserve a 2-1 lead.

And in the seventh, Lynnwood tightroped out of yet another threat to emerge victorious.

“It’s just such a relief having a reliable defense,” McMahon said. “You can always count on them.”

Masters, a sophomore left-hander, tossed five-plus strong innings for the Royals. He allowed just one run and five hits, while totaling eight strikeouts and two walks.

McMahon added two quality innings of relief, allowing one unearned run and no hits.

“(Masters) pitched great,” Watson said. “He did his job. If our starters can get us through the fifth, we have a couple pretty good closers in Tommy and Jace (Hampson). … I couldn’t ask for anything more.”

Lynnwood senior Mason Lane is congratulated by his teammates after scoring in the first inning. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Lynnwood senior Mason Lane is congratulated by his teammates after scoring in the first inning. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

In the bottom of the first, Lane hit a two-out single to center field and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Hampson then lined a single to left field to bring home Lane and give Lynnwood an early 1-0 lead.

Meadowdale answered in the second, when Brandon Brunette crushed a triple to the left-center field gap and scored on a game-tying double by Nicholas Banez.

In the fourth, Hampson lined a leadoff double into the right-center field gap. He then advanced to third on a single and scored on a double play to give the Royals a 2-1 lead.

That remained the score until Lynnwood added a massive insurance run in the bottom of the sixth. Lane led off by reaching on a throwing error, which also allowed him to take second base. Hampson laid down a sacrifice bunt to move Lane to third. Leyon Camantigue, a senior, then lofted a sacrifice fly to center field to make it 3-1.

And with their pitching and defense, that was enough for the Royals to hold on and reach state for the first time since the program made back-to-back 3A state quarterfinal trips in 2015 and 2016.

“It’s obviously a big opportunity,” Watson said. “It means a lot. … I’m proud of the kids.”

Freshman pitcher Nicholas Zardis gave Meadowdale a quality outing. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Freshman pitcher Nicholas Zardis gave Meadowdale a quality outing. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Zardis pitched six strong innings for Meadowdale and allowed two earned runs, one unearned run and five hits. The freshman right-hander struck out seven batters and walked one.

The Mavericks have another chance to clinch a state berth Saturday, when they face third-seeded Stanwood in a loser-out contest.

Lynnwood, meanwhile, advanced to face sixth-seeded Edmonds-Woodway in Saturday’s district championship game. Edmonds-Woodway routed 10th-seeded Mountlake Terrace 11-1 in five innings in the other district semifinal.

“It’s nice to be able to put on for the school,” McMahon said. “We represent the black and gold. … It’s an amazing feeling being able to go (to state).”

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Sports

Jackson senior and UNLV commit Yanina Sherwood is The Herald’s 2024 Softball Player of the Year. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
2024 Softball Player of the Year: Jackson’s Yanina Sherwood

With both her arm and bat, Sherwood led the Timberwolves to their second-straight state title.

Kamiak’s Synclair Mawudeku (2) pitches during a 4A softball game between Kamiak and Jackson at Kamiak High School on Tuesday, April 9, 2024 in Mukilteo, Washington. Jackson won, 9-0. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
The Herald’s 2024 All-Area softball team

Editor’s note: The Player of the Year and All-Area teams were chosen… Continue reading

Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba catches the game-winning touchdown pass as Eagles cornerback James Bradberry defends in the fourth quarter on Dec. 18. (Yong Kim / Tribune News Service)
Seahawks look to fully unlock Jaxon Smith-Njigba’s potential

Seattle is expecting good things from the receiver, who was taken 20th overall in the 2023 draft.

Everett 8-year-old Ryder Romano was selected to compete in the prestigious Brick Invitational Hockey Tournament. (Photo courtesy of Brittany Walker)
Everett 8-year-old selected to prestigious hockey tournament

Ryder Romano will play at the Brick Invitational Hockey Tournament on July 1-7 in Edmonton, Alberta.

Seattle Seahawks cornerback Devon Witherspoon (21) celebrates a stop of Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Pollard (20) during the fourth quarter at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Nov. 30, 2023. The Cowboys won, 41-35. (Tom Fox / Tribune News Service)
Captain of the Seahawks defense? Why it could be Witherspoon

The talented second-year cornerback brought ‘outrageous energy’ to Seattle’s minicamp.

Drew Bryson, the new Arlington boys basketball head coach, at Arlington High School on Tuesday, June 11, 2024. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Arlington taps alum Bryson to continue boys hoops tradition

The former Eagles star succeeds Nick Brown as Arlington’s head coach.

The Everett Silvertips remain confident in signing defenseman Landon DuPont, the first-overall selection in this year’s WHL prospects draft, who’s considered a generational talent. (Photo courtesy of Chris Mast)
Patterson: Have patience Tips fans, offseason news is coming

Everett is close to hiring a new GM and new coach, and still confident of signing Landon DuPont.

Dan Parker with the Snohomish High School girls cross country team. (Elizabeth Armstrong / The Herald)
2024 Snohomish County Sports Hall of Fame class announced

Five athletes, one coach, one contributor and one team are being inducted.

Why Seahawks are joining NFL trend with joint practices

Seattle will conduct practices with the Tennessee Titans prior to their preseason game.

Seattle Storm head coach Noelle Quinn on the sidelines June 15, 2023, during a game against the Las Vegas Aces in Las Vegas. (Ellen Schmidt / Las Vegas Review-Journal, file)
As WNBA exposure grows, Storm content to quietly stack wins

Amid the Caitlin Clark-fueled buzz, Seattle has won seven of its past eight.

AquaSox second baseman Brock Rodden throws out a runner June 5 during a game against the Vancouver Giants at Funko Field in Everett. Rodden has been the team’s top offensive performer so far this season. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
AquaSox week in review: Keystone capers buoy Everett

Brock Rodden and Josh Hood have a friendly rivalry that pushes both players.

Snohomish Summer Smash returns for ninth edition

Registration is open for the tennis tournament for high schoolers, which takes place July 18-21.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.