The Monroe baseball team has been on the wrong side of several tight ballgames this season.
There was an extra-inning walkoff loss to Arlington. Another extra-inning walkoff loss to Mount Vernon. And then there was last Tuesday’s one-run loss to Cascade.
But the Bearcats flipped the script on their close-game fortunes last week, earning back-to-back walkoff victories to propel themselves into the thick of a down-to-the-wire race for the Wesco 4A crown.
“It’s good to get on the good side of those (tight games) once in a while,” Monroe coach Eric Chartrand said.
Grant Davis hit a walkoff two-run single in the bottom of the eighth inning last Wednesday to lift the Bearcats to a 4-3 win over Cascade, avenging their previous afternoon’s one-run loss to the Bruins. Monroe then continued its late-game dramatics Saturday, scoring on a seventh-inning error for a 1-0 walkoff victory over Jackson.
“I’m just super proud of the kids to be able to bounce back after the Cascade loss,” Chartrand said. “Obviously it was a really good team, but we had plenty of opportunities to win that game and to take advantage of it. And then the next two games, it flipped a little bit where (the opponents) had plenty of opportunities to bury us early and they did not take advantage of it, … and we got to them late and got the ‘W.’ So I was really proud of the boys to be resilient in both games.”
The Bearcats’ two walkoff wins set the stage for an intriguing three-team battle entering the final week of Wesco 4A play.
Monroe and Jackson, who square off again Tuesday, are tied for second place in Wesco 4A with 6-3 conference records, trailing first-place Cascade by just one game. Cascade is seeking its second consecutive Wesco 4A title, and its third in four seasons.
“There’s plenty of baseball left for all three of (these) teams to give themselves a chance,” Chartrand said.
While the Wesco 4A race could come down to the season’s final day, there hasn’t been much suspense atop the Wesco 3A North.
Arlington has rolled to one of the most dominant seasons in recent Snohomish County prep baseball history, sporting an unblemished 15-0 record. The Eagles are 13-0 in Wesco 3A North play, having outscored conference opponents by a whopping 9.6 runs per game.
Arlington is a virtual lock to win the Wesco 3A North, entering Monday with a four-game lead over second-place Everett. The Seagulls, in the midst of a breakthrough campaign at 12-5 overall, have already secured their first winning season in more than a decade.
In the Wesco 3A/2A South, first-year member Archbishop Murphy is closing in on the league crown. The former Cascade Conference team is 10-1 in league play, holding a three-game lead over second-place Meadowdale. Archbishop Murphy and Meadowdale square off Wednesday and Friday in a two-game series.
Cedar Park Christian holds a one-game lead in the North Sound Conference after falling to second-place South Whidbey 3-0 Monday. It was the first conference loss for CPC, which dropped to 12-1 in league play. South Whidbey improved its conference record to 11-2.
CPC and South Whidbey conclude their regular seasons this week with the final two games of a pivotal three-game series that will determine the conference title.
Kamiak, Shorecrest athletes earn WIAA honors
Kamiak golfer Alvin Kwak and Shorecrest boys soccer player Matthew Farnam were among the Athletes of the Week selected by the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association for the week of April 7-13.
Kwak, a senior, became the first two-time champion of the Tom Dolan Memorial Invitational, shooting a 5-under-par 67 at Everett Golf & Country Club on April 8 to win Snohomish County’s largest annual prep golf tournament. The Columbia University-bound standout led Kamiak to the team title and the lowest team score in the tournament’s 18-year history.
Farnam, a senior forward, scored three goals and added four assists in a pair of victories for Shorecrest that week. He assisted all three goals in a 3-1 win over Marysville Getchell on April 8, then netted three goals and assisted another in a 6-1 rout of Cedarcrest on April 10.