MOUNT VERNON — The Marysville Pilchuck baseball team entered its first state tournament in nine years largely due to the strength of its pitching.
But Bonney Lake pounded out 14 hits as it ended MP’s season with a 12-6 victory in a Class 3A state tournament round-game Saturday at Sherman Anderson Field.
The Tomahawks (19-5) pounded out 13 hits of their own, but the Panthers turned three double plays behind starter Kaiden Hammond to maintain the lead.
“Both teams could hit,” Marysville Pilchuck coach James Day said. “Bonney Lake is no joke, one through nine.”
The Tomahawks allowed just one run in three Class 3A district tournament games last week and were riding an 11-game winning streak.
But senior right-hander Eric Anderson gave up seven runs in the first two innings — four of them unearned — and the Tomahawks quickly found themselves trailing 7-1.
Anderson entered the game with a 0.58 earned-run average and 52 strikeouts in 48 2/3 innings pitched.
Marysville Pilchuck battled back with four runs in the third thanks to an run-scoring single from Colby Phelps, a sacrifice fly and a run-scoring groundout to cut the Panthers’ lead to 7-5.
Bonney Lake’s Peyton Brock increased the lead to 8-5 with a solo home run leading off the top of the fifth, but Marysville Pilchuck countered with a run-scoring single from Mark Bielawski.
That was as close as the Tomahawks got. Austin Friis and Matthew Gretler hit back-to-back home runs leading off the sixth, and both players drove in another run in the seventh to complete the scoring.
The Tomahawks, who graduate a dozen seniors from this year’s team, remain in search of their first trip to the state semifinals since 1983.
“For the last four years (they’ve been) such great kids on and off the field,” Day said. “It’s been a very special four years, watching Eric (Anderson) pitch, watching Tyler (De Vries) pitch. They’ve grown as men. They’ve kicked butt on and off the field and done the things they were supposed to do.”