MOUNTLAKE TERRACE — This was destined to be somewhat of a rebuilding year for Kamiak, after the Knights graduated 11 seniors from last season’s district tournament team.
Kamiak now starts four sophomores and a freshman and the growing pains were evident Monday, as Kamiak committed four errors — leading to four unearned runs — and stranded nine runners on the base paths in an 8-1 loss to Mountlake Terrace.
“We’re very young, but we still made stupid mistakes that cost us,” said Kamiak coach Steve Merkley. “We’re a JV team that’s playing a varsity schedule.”
Terrace’s second win over Kamiak in as many days gave the Hawks a season sweep of the Knights and sole possession of first place in the Wesco South standings.
“That was a big effort in getting two games from Kamiak,” said Terrace coach Andrew Watters. “They’re always a very good team, so we are happy that we were able to maintain the momentum that we built from yesterday.”
Kamiak’s defensive struggles started in the first inning. Terrace’s Garrett Totten struck out, but was able to advance to second when the catcher dropped the third strike and the ensuing throw to first went down the right field line. Totten scored on an RBI groundout by Matt Shafer for the 1-0 lead.
The Hawks used another Kamiak error to set up back-to-back RBI doubles by Shafer and Paul Clingan in the third to take a 4-0 lead. Mountlake Terrace tacked on three more runs in the fourth when Totten’s two-run single and Shafer’s sacrifice fly made it 7-0 after an error, a hit and a walk had loaded the bases.
“We gave them six outs and it’s tough to overcome that,” Merkley said.
While Terrace took advantage of their opportunities, the Knights were unable to do likewise, as they ran into solid Terrace pitching for the second day in a row.
One day after Hawks’ starter Jake Theis pitched a one-hitter in a 13-0 Mountlake Terrace victory, junior Kyle Barisic scattered seven hits while yielding just one run in six innings of work.
“(Barisic) has been outstanding for us this year,” Watters said. “He’s really stepped up and is becoming another go-to guy on the mound for us.”
Barisic stranded two runners in each of the first two innings, then settled down to retire 10 Knights in a row until Jake Sortor connected for a two-out double in the fifth. Sortor scored when Christian Spencer followed with an RBI single for Kamiak’s only run.
Barisic struck out five and didn’t walk a man, which helped him pitch around the seven hits.
“He threw strikes and he didn’t get himself in trouble,” Watters said. “He made (Kamiak) hit the ball and that’s something we talked about as a team.”
The Hawks played relatively good defense, committing two errors that proved insignificant.
“Our defense has been solid lately,” said Barisic, who improved to 2-0 with the victory. “That really helps when you’re pitching because you have to know that your defense is behind you.”
Shafer finished with two doubles and three RBI and Clingan finished with two doubles and an RBI for Terrace, which improved to 4-0 in Wesco South play and 5-3 overall.
Sortor was 2-for-4 with a run scored and Danny Schmidt had a pair of singles for Kamiak, which dropped to 3-3 and 5-5.
“We’re halfway done (with the season),” Merkley said. “We’ve got to start winning to be able to do anything in the playoffs.”
At M. Terrace H.S.
Guinn, Ewer (4), Groves (5) and Lauletta. Barisic, Woeck (7) and Clingan. WP—Barisic (2-0). LP—Guinn (1-2). 2B—Shafer 2 (MLT), Clingan 2 (MLT), Sortor (K). Records—Kamiak 3-3 league, 5-5 overall. M. Terrace 4-0, 5-3.