EVERETT — It’s been quite a week for Stanwood High School junior Mason Goodson.
On Tuesday, the hard-throwing right-hander pitched a no-hitter and kept the Spartans’ season alive in a loser-out district tournament game against Oak Harbor.
On Saturday, third-seeded Stanwood relied on Goodson to give it a shot at extending its season again. This time a monumental state tournament berth was on the line.
He didn’t disappoint.
Goodson pitched 5.2 strong innings and delivered a clutch two-run single, Stanwood took advantage of Meadowdale fielding miscues to pile on three critical insurance runs in the bottom of the fifth and the Spartans held on to knock off the fourth-seeded Mavericks 6-4 in a winner-to-state, loser-out Class 3A District 1 baseball tournament consolation bracket game Saturday at Funko Field.
Stanwood (15-8) is heading to state for the first time since 1998 and just the third overall time in program history.
“It feels great to get this program to this point,” Goodson said. “At the beginning of the season, I won’t lie, I did not think we were going to get this far. We made it this far (because) we have great coaching and great players to play with. We’ve been battling.”
Goodson struck out 11 and allowed three runs on five hits and five walks just four days removed from his no-hitter. He also went 2-for-3 with two RBI and walk at the plate.
“Talk about coming through big time (and) stepping up at the right time of the year,” Stanwood coach Matt Brennan said of his starter. “He’s had an amazing week. So, that’s why we brought him out here today. We needed to ride that confidence and that hot arm.
“He’s just really stepped up as a No. 1. We’ve had a staff of three starters and they’ve all been good, but nobody has really stood out as the ace. So, I think he’s established himself for sure.”
The Spartans also received solid production from the bottom of their lineup.
No. 7 hitter Treyton Mascarenas was 2-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored and nine-hole hitter Jordin Lee added an RBI single.
“In baseball you think of the bottom of the order and you think, ‘Oh gosh, here’s a whole in the lineup.’ But we’ve had guys that are putting up good swings and just waiting to bust out,” Brennan said.
Brandt Gilbertson worked a leadoff walk in the fourth and came around to score after a sacrifice bunt and an error. The Spartans loaded the bases on a hit batter and a walk and Goodson worked a full count before lining a two-out, two RBI single into center for a 3-0 lead.
END 4: Mason Goodson helps out his own cause with a two-out, two-run single up the middle to highlight a three-run inning for Stanwood.
Stanwood 3, Meadowdale 0 pic.twitter.com/u6mX7XkC3S— Zac Hereth (@ZacHereth) May 14, 2022
The three-run burst came after Stanwood left a pair of runners on base in the first and second innings.
“Big sigh (of relief) because you start going, ‘Ok. This is going to be a tight game. Something has to break here. We might not get these opportunities,’” Brennan said. “I just kind of felt we’d get to that pitcher. All year we’ve just faced fireballers and we just thought we had a shot against him. I mean, he pitched a great game. He kept us off balance, but, man, they just kept their discipline and kept the right approach at the plate.”
Stanwood put runners on first and second with one out in fifth after an error and a walk. Mascarenas lined an RBI single into left field and the ball was misplayed, allowing a second run to score and Mascarenas to reach third. Jordin Lee followed with a two-out RBI single two batters later for a 6-0 lead.
Meadowdale (14-8) worked its way back into the game with three runs in the sixth.
Malikhi Emery-Henderson led off with a walk and came home on Nicholas Banez’s double into left-center. Nicholas Zardis roped another run-scoring double into left and forced Stanwood to make a pitching change.
Leadoff hitter Zaid Flynn greeted Spartans reliever Matthew Brennan by stinging the first pitch he saw down the right field line for an RBI triple, but the Spartans’ right-hander escaped without further harm by inducing a flyout.
Brandon Brunette hit a sac fly in the seventh to pull the Mavericks within 6-4 with two outs, but Meadowdale wouldn’t get any closer.
Broderick Bluhm pitched five innings and allowed six runs, all unearned, on four hits and four walks for the Mavericks. He struck out five.
Flynn was 2-for-4, Banez hit a pair of doubles and Zardis was 1-for-2 with a walk.
The state tournament berth is the second big milestone the Stanwood baseball program has reached this season. The Spartans clinched their first league title since 1998 two weeks ago. The next achievement Stanwood could reach this season is a first-ever win in the state tournament.
“To win a state game, that would just be big for our program,” Matt Brennan said. “When we came in and we took over, one of our goals was to to be relevant. We wanted Stanwood baseball to be relevant again, and I think we’ve accomplished that. Now we don’t want to settle for that.”