EVERETT — A state tournament berth looked far out of reach for the Mountlake Terrace High School baseball team about a month ago.
The Hawks were 3-10 and 1-5 in league play and just couldn’t seem to find a way to win games.
But that rocky start didn’t deter Terrace, and the Hawks have been red-hot ever since.
And Saturday that recent streak success paid off in a big way.
Cody Snow allowed just one run in a five-inning complete game, Rominic Quiban hit a three-run double in the top of the third and 10th-seeded Terrace scored runs in bunches on its way to an 11-1 rout of fifth-seeded Mount Vernon in a winner-to-state, loser-out Class 3A District 1 tournament consolation bracket contest at Funko Field.
“I’m proud of this team. Everything they’ve accomplished they’ve earned,” Terrace coach Ryan Sells said. “… I kept telling them, ‘Once we get to May – if we can get to May – special things happen. All those numbers and records all go out the window and it’s the best team wins.’ We had trust in them.”
The Hawks (12-11) have now won nine of their past 10 games after sputtering out of the gates.
Sells said the team didn’t make any changes to its approach to turn things around. Instead, the young roster with just three seniors stuck to its game plan, trusted the process and found its way.
Terrace has outscored its opponents 54-26 over its past 10 games and has allowed three runs or fewer eight times.
“We’re clicking on all cylinders,” Sells said. “They’ve trusted the approach. We haven’t gotten too big in certain situations. It’s fun to see.”
Terrace is making its second trip to the state tournament in its last three chances. The Hawks last made it to state in 2018 when they finished second in 2A.
“It feels great,” Quiban said. “All that hard work paid off. This is where we want to be at the end of the season, and I just want to congratulate our whole team. Cody pitched a great game today and we were lucky enough to put 11 runs on the board.”
Snow allowed just three hits and two walks while striking out five. Quinban went 2-for-4, Talan Zenk reached base in all four of his plate appearances and Matthew Meadows added two RBI for the Hawks.
Lucas Gahan had an RBI single for the Bulldogs (14-9), who struggled mightily to find the strike zone and field the ball.
Mount Vernon used six different pitchers, including four in a six-run third inning for Terrace, walked seven batters, hit three more and committed four errors.
Dayton Nickolson drove in a run in the top of the first with a single and Zenk followed by crushing a run-scoring double of the wall in center field for 2-0 lead.
MID 1: Talon Zenk crushes this RBI double off the wall in center. Dayton Nickolson also had an RBI single.
Mountlake Terrace 2, Mount Vernon 0 pic.twitter.com/kLDgNegamh
— Zac Hereth (@ZacHereth) May 14, 2022
Terrace loaded the bases in the third on an error and two walks to set Dominic Kim up for an RBI single. Robert Swan followed with a bases-loaded walk and Meadows hit an RBI sacrifice fly. Another walk loaded the bases for Quiban’s three-run double into right field.
The Hawks tacked three more runs on in the fourth without recording a hit. Two scored on a wild pitch with the bases loaded and another when Swan was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.
“Being able to compete in those middle innings is what we’ve talked about all year,” Sells said. “Being great in those middle innings and tacking on runs when we need to to put a team away like we did today. I think that was our best game all year.”