Mountlake Terrace earned its first state berth since 2001 with a 6-3 victory over Kamiak in a 4A District 1 semifinal game at Skagit Valley College on Tuesday.
Going into the top of the seventh inning, the Hawks were behind 3-2 and Bryan Barnes and Andrew Knudsen came through in the clutch. Barnes drove in the tying run with a single to right field and, one batter later, Knudsen drove in what would be the game-winning run with a fielder’s choice to third base.
“Barnes had the big hit of the game,” Mountlake Terrace coach Andrew Watters said.Terrace wins district openerBy Mike Cane
For the Enterprise
For the Enterprise
MONROE — Don’t let its mediocre record fool you. The Mountlake Terrace baseball team clearly belongs in the postseason.
Despite entering the Class 4A District 1 baseball tournament with the worst overall record among the eight teams that qualified, the Mountlake Terrace Hawks used Andrew Knudsen’s complete-game pitching effort, some timely hits and flawless defense to knock off the top-seeded Monroe Bearcats 6-1 May 6 at Marshall Field.
Knudsen (4-4) allowed just four hits and escaped a few jams to help Wesco South No. 4 seed Terrace improve to 11-10 overall.
Knudsen’s solo home run in the third inning turned out to be the winning run for the Hawks.
Bryan Barnes and Wes Pair had three hits apiece and Blair Haverstraw drove in two runs for Mountlake Terrace, which last reached the state tourney in 2001 and lost a winner-to-state game against Cascade last season.
“We felt as a team that we were never the underdog. We just knew we could play with these guys,” said Knudsen, who repeatedly drilled the outside corner with a fastball that hovered in the low-80 mph range and kept Monroe off balance with a good changeup. After giving up a solo home run to Monroe’s Michael Brady with two outs in the bottom of the first, Knudsen and the Mountlake Terrace defense shut down Wesco North No. 1 Monroe.
“Really, it was their defense. They didn’t give us any extra outs,” Monroe head coach Neil Henderson said. “They played flawlessly and they kept the pressure on us.”
Mountlake Terrace has 11 seniors, but just four had played significant varsity action before this season. Hawks head coach Andrew Watters said his team endured some tough lessons the last few months and lost several close games, but now the experience is paying off.
“We have the ability … to beat anybody,” Watters said. “We’ve carried that (confidence) with us all year.”
Sophomore Ian Parmley (7-1) pitched 52/3 innings for Monroe, allowing three runs and nine hits. But Knudsen out-dueled Parmley by keeping the ball down, and his teammates made solid plays in the field.
Barnes, a Gonzaga-bound senior shortstop, made the defensive play of the game for Terrace. With a Monroe runner on first base and one out in the bottom of the sixth, Barnes leaped high to snare a James Griesmer line drive and then whipped a throw to first that beat the Monroe base runner to complete an inning-ending double play.
Barnes’ play preserved Terrace’s 3-1 lead and essentially sealed the victory, Knudsen said.
“I looked around and I saw (Barnes) jump about 10 feet in the air and catch the ball,” said Knudsen, exaggerating for effect. “That was huge. It gave us all the momentum.”
Mike Cane writes for The Herald in Everett.