The Meridian Trojans watch the action from the dugout during their 8-7 victory over Squalicum. PHOTO: Keenan Gray
Meridian Tops Squalicum in Extra Innings
April 16, 2019
It took extra innings on Monday for Meridian to beat a team mirroring their style of baseball. Senior Josh Neeter scored the game winning run in the bottom of the 8th to secure an 8-7 victory for the Trojans over Squalicum in Laurel.
In a match-up of teams playing small ball and creating scoring opportunities with aggressive play on the base paths, Meridian manufactured the game winner in exactly the same fashion. Neeter reached first base on an error to open the 8th inning. He stole second on a controversial call at the base. Art Madrigal was intentionally walked. Brayden Zender followed with a bunt. Squalicum pitcher Keenan Rice fielded the bunt and tried to get the force at third, but the ball bounced off the glove of Billy Scammell, allowing Neeter to scramble home ahead of Scammell's throw to win the game.
Meridian coach Steve Slesk said Neeter's ability to overcome strikeouts in his first 3 at-bats and come through in the 8th epitomized baseball.
"He is one of our leaders now," said Slesk. "Did it get him down, did he quit? No, he gets a pump base hit and scores the winning run...and that's a tribute to him. That's baseball, you gotta fight through your failures and good things will happen in the end."
Meridian totaled 10 hits in the win. Ryan Johnson went 2-for-3 with a double, a base on balls, an RBI and two runs scored. Ethan Brooks, who picked up the victory on the mound in relief, added a 2-for-4 performance at the plate with a double, an RBI and 1 run scored.
Squalicum (5-11/3-6 NWC) recorded 6 hits. Josh Boysen led the attack, going 2-for-5 with a double, a base on balls and 1 run scored. Mitchell Sage added a single, a stolen base and 2 runs scored.
This was the third straight victory for Trojans (7-8/4-5 NWC). How big was it to Neeter and his teammates?
"I think it was good. We kept a lot of energy this game and we kind of struggled with that earlier in the season. We're starting to pick-up on that and grow as a team," said Neeter.
Both teams are back in action on Wednesday with 4:30pm starts. Meridian visits Blaine and Squalicum hosts Nooksack Valley at Joe Martin Field.
- Doug Lange
Meridian senior Josh Neeter on the TDLN postgame show following the Trojans 8-7 win over Squalicum. PHOTO: Tyler Anderson
Meridian junior Ryan Johnson at the plate versus Squalicum. PHOTO: Keenan Gray.