EVERETT — After falling one win short of state each of the previous four seasons, the Tomahawks finally broke through.
And they did so in decisive fashion.
The Marysville Pilchuck baseball team pounded out 13 hits and punched its ticket to state with a 9-1 win over Meadowdale in a Class 3A Northwest District tournament semifinal Tuesday night at Everett Memorial Stadium.
The senior-laden Tomahawks erupted in celebration after recording the game’s final out, which extended their winning streak to 10 games and secured the program’s first state berth since 2009.
“This year, I think we really came together as a team as a whole,” standout senior Eric Anderson said. “We’re more than just teammates. We’re brothers, we’re friends, we’re family.”
The victory also advanced Marysville Pilchuck (18-4) to Saturday’s district title game against Edmonds-Woodway, which ended Arlington’s 19-game win streak with a 3-0 victory in the other semifinal.
Meadowdale (16-6) fell into the loser’s bracket with the loss. The Mavericks will face Lynnwood in a loser-out game Wednesday.
Anderson continued his exceptional season with another masterful performance for the Tomahawks, allowing only one run and seven hits in 6 2⁄3 innings pitched. The tall right-hander struck out nine batters and walked two before reaching the 105-pitch limit.
“Holy cow,” Marysville Pilchuck coach James Day said of his ace’s outing. “It’s been like that since day one. He’s been the horse that we’ve all been riding. … He pounds the zone (and) does everything that we need him to do.”
Marysville Pilchuck broke a 1-1 tie with a five-run fourth inning, stringing together five straight hits during the scoring barrage.
Jordan Justice began the outburst with a triple to the center-field fence, and then scored on a Trevor Anderson single. Mark Bielawski followed with a double, Coby Nelson lined a run-scoring single into center field and Kee-An Ballard launched a high-arcing double off the left-field wall to bring home another run.
Nelson then scored on a wild pitch and Jordan Luton grounded a run-scoring single into left field to give the Tomahawks a 6-1 lead.
Justice added a three-run homer in the sixth inning, ripping a pitch over the high left-field fence to make it 9-1. It was the sophomore’s first home run at the varsity level.
“He’s worked so hard in the cage, as with all my guys,” Day said.
Colby Phelps went 3-for-4 and was one of eight Tomahawks who had at least one hit in the semifinal rout. Justice, Bielawski and Nelson each had two hits.
“We’ve got guys in the lineup — one through nine — that just smash the ball,” Eric Anderson said. “And obviously that showed tonight.”