Peterson leads Archbishop Murphy over Cedarcrest

EVERETT — Archbishop Murphy senior catcher Chris Peterson is putting together quite the hitting streak.

Peterson homered for the fourth time in four games Monday and the Wildcats earned a crucial 14-4 Cascade Conference win over league-leading Cedarcrest at Archbishop Murphy High School.

Starting pitcher Ty Kane hit a two-run home run in the first inning for the Wildcats (14-2 league, 14-3 overall), who are now just one game behind Cedarcrest for the Cascade Conference lead with two games remaining in the three-game series, but it was Peterson who stole the show with a four-RBI performance for the third straight contest.

Peterson nailed a first-pitch fastball from Cedarcrest starter Gunnar Swanson over the center-field fence for a two-run home run in the third inning. The smash gave Archbishop Murphy a 4-1 lead that it wouldn’t relinquish to the Red Wolves (15-1, 15-2).

“I was sitting fastball,” Peterson said. “After my first at-bat (a single) I was expecting the fastball, so I got it and I just jumped all over it.”

The catcher added a two-run double in the six-run fifth inning for the Wildcats.

“We’ve all been working really hard in the cages and everything,” Peterson said of Archbishop Murphy’s hot hitting. “We’re all doing really well right now as a team.”

Jon Varriano added three RBI (two on bases-loaded walks) as the Red Wolves pitchers had difficulty throwing strikes.

Cedarcrest pitchers combined to walk 10 batters and hit one while yielding 11 hits to the Wildcats.

Swanson, who took the loss on the mound, had six strikeouts, but also walked six batters as the defending class 2A champions fell into a hole.

“We’re a good enough team, we should be able to rebound,” Cedarcrest head coach Scott Goldsberry said. “That’s the great thing about baseball, there’s always another day.”

While the Red Wolves remain in the driver’s seat, Archbishop Murphy created some momentum in its pursuit to win consecutive Cascade Conference championships.

“We definitely have our sights set on doing what we need to do in order to defend the championship we’ve got,” Archbishop Murphy head coach Stan Taloff said.

Archbishop Murphy lost in the first round of the class 2A state tournament last season as Cedarcrest earned the title by giving up just 2.75 runs per game.

Peterson added: “We’ve got the confidence under our belts.”

Kane, Archbishop Murphy’s pitcher of record, tossed 52/3 innings while striking out seven and walking six batters. The right-hander kept his pitches down in the zone inducing six ground ball outs in a performance Taloff called “very gutty.”

“He’s fantastic when he’s down low and he was down low all day, but he didn’t quite get that low pitch call, but he still battled through it,” Taloff said.

Cedarcrest, which previously lost only to class 3A Hazen (Renton) by one run prior to Monday’s contest, walked three batters in the sixth inning before Keenan Albright laced a two-run, game-ending single to right-center field. Albright, the left fielder, finished 3-for-4 with two RBI.

“I can’t imagine they’re happy about this (loss),” Peterson said of the Red Wolves. “They’re going to come out on Wednesday gunning for us.”

While Cedarcrest regroups for Wednesday’s second game, Taloff said Archbishop Murphy hopes to build late-season momentum through stability.

“Nothing changes,” Taloff said. “You have to put the ball in play when you’re at the plate and you have to throw strikes when you’re on the mound and you have to make the plays defensively. The game doesn’t change whether you’re at the Major League level or at the level we’re at right here. There’s some of this we can control, all we can really control is our hustle and attitude and get after it … the rest of the game takes care of itself … we just want to make sure we avoid giving a game away.

At Archbishop Murphy H.S.

Cedarcrest001012—431

A. Murphy203063—14112

Swanson, Reeves (5), Gross (6) and Bunce. Kane, Davis (6), MaVorhis (6) and Peterson. WP—Kane. LP—Swanson. 2B—Huggins (AM), Peterson (AM). HR—Kane (AM), Peterson (AM). Records—Cedarcrest 15-1 league. 15-2 overall. Archbishop Murphy 14-2, 14-3.

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