Mavs pound Scots

  • David Pan<br>Enterprise sports editor
  • Thursday, February 28, 2008 10:43am

LYNNWOOD — A sparkling play on defense combined with clutch hitting lifted the Meadowdale baseball team to an 8-1 victory over 3A rival Shorecrest in a Western Conference 4A South Division clash Tuesday afternoon at Meadowdale High School.

Right fielder Ryan Marin provided the defensive play of the game in the top of the second inning with the bases loaded and only one out.

After Mavericks pitcher Tyler Haggett walked in the first run of the game, Shorecrest second baseman A.J. Collins stepped to the plate and drove a fly ball to Marin, who caught the ball and then threw it on one hop to catcher Richard O’Neill.

O’Neill tagged out a sliding Sean Lenning, who was trying to score from third, for the third and final out of the inning.

“That’s a nice way to end the inning,” Meadowdale coach Ron Martin said. “He (Marin) has a very good arm. It was nice to see him show it off.”

The Mavericks then pushed across all the runs they needed in the bottom of the inning. Meadowdale scored six, all of which came with two outs.

The offensive surge was unexpected, both in terms of numbers and timing.

“We usually have a hard time scoring runs early,” Haggett said.

The Mavericks haven’t had that many big innings this season for whatever reason, Martin added.

“We haven’t put a whole lot of hits in one inning very many times this year,” he said. “They (hits) seemed to go in the right place instead of right at their players … the ball happened to go into places where they didn’t have players. A lot of times this year we’ve hit the ball hard and it’s been right at somebody.”

With one out in the bottom of the second inning, Meadowdale second baseman Nick Maddox stroked a single to center field. He then advanced to third base on a double by first baseman J.J. Bach.

Shorecrest then brought the infield in and was able to record the second out of the inning and hold the runner at third base. Lenning fielded a grounder by Meadowdale’s Porter Balke and threw him out at first base, while keeping an eye on Maddox at third base.

O’Neill followed with a single to left field that scored both Maddox and Bach. Will Monsey came in as a courtesy runner for O’Neill and moved to second base on Justin Lucero’s single to left field. Both runners advanced on Joey Timmons’ single deep in the hole to the shortstop.

Josh Miller then was hit by pitcher Brian Jackson for the third run of the inning. Haggett cleared the bases with a double to left field to give himself a 6-1 lead before Marin flied out to center field to end the inning.

“We’ve been working hard on just taking the pitch wherever it’s put and not trying to do too much with it,” Haggett said. “Basehits win ball games. That was evident tonight.”

Haggett’s solid pitching performance also helped the Mavericks’ cause. After his somewhat shaky second inning, Haggett settled down and only allowed one runner past second base the rest of the game.

“Everything was working well,” Haggett said. “The umpire was giving the outside corner, so I was just abusing it out there and mixing it up and just keeping them off balance and letting them put it in play.”

Having a 6-1 lead also took some of the pressure off of Haggett.

“I can start missing a little more outside, trying to get people to chase the ball and kind of start taking over the game instead of worrying about not letting the guy on second score,” Haggett said.

Shorecrest coach Brett Medalia thought that Haggett located his pitches well.

“He changed speeds pretty well and he sent us fishing on that outside stuff quite a bit,” Medalia said. “It seemed to be a good pitch for him.”

Heading into the season, one of Martin’s biggest concerns was Meadowdale’s pitching. None of the Mavericks’ returning pitchers had any significant starting experience.

“The pitching has developed quite well,” Martin said.

Aside from a bad week against Shorewood, the pitching has been solid.

“They’ve competed. They’ve for the most part thrown strikes and that keeps you in ball games,” Martin said. “We’ve played not great but good defense.”

Meadowdale improved to 4-2 in the league and 6-2 overall.

Team chemistry is a major reason for Meadowdale’s success so far, according to Haggett.

“The team unity and the way we mesh is just unreal,” he said. “Anyone should be so lucky to play on a team that has unity like that. (It) will take us far and playing in a 4A league and doing extremely well is going to do a lot for us going into the playoffs when we play 3A teams.”

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