BELLEVUE — The Mountlake Terrace High School baseball team had kept finding ways to win with its back against the wall throughout the postseason.
The Hawks playoff run started with a pair of victories in loser-out games of the Class 3A District 1 tournament. After a push to the district title game, Terrace again found itself in a win-or-go-home contest Tuesday in the opening round of the 3A state tournament, and again the Hawks kept their season going with another triumph.
But the magic finally ran out for Terrace in state tournament’s round of 16.
Left-hander Shane Johnson pitched five scoreless innings and fourth-seeded Lake Washington used a four-run fourth inning to pull away for a 6-0 victory over 13th-seeded Terrace on Saturday at Bannerwood Park.
Lake Washington (17-6) advanced to a quarterfinal matchup later in the day against fifth-seeded Timberline, which beat 12th-seeded Shorewood 7-3 in its round-of-16 game.
Terrace finished its season at 16-11.
“Just to reflect on the season right now, it’s a success, granted we didn’t have the success we wanted against Lake Washington,” Hawks coach Ryan Sells said.
“I’m really proud of this group from where we came in two loser-out games (and) getting to the district championship,” Sells added. “To be able to get the 13 seed and win our first game, I’m very, very proud of them. I look at this season as a win for us as we move forward, because with Terrace baseball we’ll always be back.”
The Hawks had their chances to get on the board throughout the afternoon, but couldn’t breakthrough due to a combination of Johnson’s ability to buckle down under pressure and some unfortunate luck on balls put in play.
Terrace’s batters made plenty of hard contact in the opening frame but ended the first with nothing to show for it. Rominic Quiban’s hard liner up the middle deflected off Johnson’s glove and right to the shortstop for a double play that erased a leadoff walk. The play ended up likely saving at least one run after Talan Zenk lined a hard single up the middle and Tyler Shankle hit a deep flyout to center to end the inning.
The Hawks put a runner in scoring position in the third, fourth, fifth and sixth innings, but couldn’t come up with a clutch hit off Johnson or side-arming reliever Matteo Droz.
Johnson stranded runners on first and second in the third and fifth innings and first and third in the fourth. Droz came on in relief in the sixth and loaded the bases, but escaped unharmed with a groundout to shortstop.
“Unfortunately some hits were right at people,” Sells said. “Just some bad breaks, some bad beats, but hats off to Lake Washington because they came prepared. So did we, but just a lopsided score at the end.”
Terrace stranded 10 runners on base overall and went 0 for 7 with runners in scoring position.
Meanwhile, the Kangs took advantage of their opportunities with runners on base.
Max Fenberg put Lake Washington on the board with an RBI single in the first, and the Kangs cushioned their lead in the fourth on Camden Gillespie’s two-run double, a run-scoring single from Johnson and another RBI base hit by Carsen Mann immediately after.
Gillespie added an RBI double in the sixth.
Johnson struck out eight and scattered two hits and five walks. He also reached base three times.
“When you have a three-pitch mix with a guy who throws mid-(80s), it makes it tough and you have to hunt out one pitch,” Sells said of facing Johnson. “That’s what we were doing early and often in counts, but it didn’t go our way. We still kept our approach and felt confident.”
Ryan Sturgill and Quiban each reached base twice for Terrace.
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