SNOHOMISH — The Snohomish baseball team tallied just two hits in a 3-0 victory over Mount Vernon on Wednesday.
In Friday’s rematch, the Panthers had topped that by the second inning.
Snohomish racked up 14 hits in its second game against the Bulldogs this week as the Panthers cruised to a 6-0 Wesco 4A win at Snohomish High School.
Wednesday’s victory secured a league title for the Panthers. Friday’s hit parade kept Snohomish (12-0 in league, 18-0 overall) perfect this season.
“(On Wednesday) we were trying to do too much in our at bats,” said Snohomish head coach Kim Hammons. “We were trying to drill the ball in the gap or hit a home run, instead of just trying to hit the ball where it was pitched. … They had a good approach to hitting today and that was the difference.”
The Panthers surpassed their hit total in the previous game in a two-run second inning. Snohomish starting pitcher Jake Mulholland led the inning off with a single and courtesy runner Tanner Temple scored on an RBI single by Trevor Volkert.
Snohomish added a run in the third and three in the fifth on consecutive RBI base hits by Volkert, Ryan Sandifer and Casey Cummins to break the game open.
“It’s more calming down,” Hammons said. “Thinking about your at bat rather than just being over aggressive. You’re thinking about trying to go up the middle and do something with a good pitch.”
The six runs were plenty for Mulholland, who improved to 7-0 this season. The junior left-hander came out prior to the seventh inning – much to his chagrin. The manager said getting Mulholland out made him available to throw an inning or two against Mariner on Monday or Tuesday.
“Mulholland’s just had a great year,” Hammons said. “He’s 7-0 right now and just pitched great. He did not want to come out of the game, too. He was at about 94 pitches and Kody Kaysner deserves an opportunity to pitch. He’s also a very good pitcher. He shut them down. I’m happy with both guys.”
Mulholland had a strong game at the plate as well, batting 3-for-4. Volkert (2-for-3) had three RBI and a double.
“We played them a lot tougher at home,” said Mount Vernon head coach Tony Wolden. “It was a better game in Mount Vernon. Today, we made a couple mistakes early, they started hitting and made good adjustments against our pitcher.”
The win was Snohomish’s 18th straight this season. The Panthers have two games remaining against Mariner, which is winless at 0-18, on Monday and Tuesday.
“I think it is for every team that’s ever stepped on the field to try to go undefeated. But did I think this would happen? Well, hell no,” Hammons said. “In baseball you lose games. That’s just the way that it is. But we have had a good mojo going and we seem to be getting guys on base and moving them up and getting clutch hits.”
Hammons, who has coached the Panthers for over 20 years, has never gone undefeated in a regular season.
“Absolutely never, in my whole, friggen life. As a player, or coach,” Hammons said with a laugh. “Never. Never. Who even thinks about that (happening)?”
Wolden said it’s not hard to find the key to Snohomish’s success.
“Pitching, pitching, pitching and good defense,” Wolden said. “They’ve got good pitching and they’re coached well. They played solid defense. You’ve got to scrap at the plate and put the ball in play.”
Jason Mustappa was 2-for-3 to lead Mount Vernon (7-5, 11-7), which is trying to hold off Jackson, Monroe and Cascade for the league’s No. 2 seed in next week’s district tournament. The top two seed get byes in the six-team bracket.
“Our guys have to understand that we play (Monroe) Monday and Tuesday, and we want to finish strong,” Wolden said. “It’s baseball. They’ve got to get up and get self-motivated and get ready to get after it come Monday.”
At Snohomish H.S.
Allen Beath, Tim Cummings (5) and Gabe Beuckman. Jake Mulholland, Kody Kaysner (7) and Ben Dmochowsky. WP–Mulholland (7-0). LP–Beath. 2B–Hayden Schmidt (MV), Trevor Volkert (S). Records–Mount Vernon 7-5 league, 11-7 overall. Snohomish 12-0, 18-0.