Meridian pitcher Dylan Hickok deliver to the plate versus Coupeville in the district playoff action. PHOTO: Doug Lange
Hickok Helps Lead Meridian Back to State
May 5, 2019
By arm or by bat, Dylan Hickok got it done Saturday as Meridian baseball punched their ticket to state. Hickok pitched the Trojans past Coupeville 6-1 in their district playoff opener and scored the winning run in a 2-1 victory over King's in the semifinals. The wins move Meridian on to the district championship game and secured a spot in the regional round of 1A state.
Hickok picked up the complete game shutout victory on the mound in the first game. The senior registered 6 strikeouts without giving up a walk, while holding Coupeville to just 6 hits in the win.
"It's all about throwing strikes and playing defense, that's what coach Slesk preaches to us and that's what we did good today," said Hickok on the TDLN postgame show.
Hickok also shined at the dish going 2-for-3 with a run scored and a base on balls. He had plenty of offensive help. Art Madrigal added 2 runs scored and 2 stolen bases. Brayden Zender went 2-for-3 with a double and 1 run scored and Ryan Johnson was 2-for-4 with 2 RBI's to help the Trojans advance to the semifinals.
In the 2-1 semifinal win over King's, Hickok scored the game winner in the bottom of the 6th inning. He singled, stole second and came around to score following errors by the Knights catcher and shortstop.
That capped a 3-for-3 performance for the shortstop who scored both runs in the state-clinching win.
"Dylan had a heck of a day. He's our guy, he's our leader and I'm really proud of him," said Meridian coach Steve Slesk.
Madrigal got the victory on the mound. The junior gave up just 3 hits and walked just 2 batters, while keeping the Knights off balance all game long.
Having won 7 of their last 9 games, Meridian (11-10) is hot at the right time. The Trojans will need to stay that way with a district title game match-up against Cedar Park Christian next Saturday at Joe Martin Field. The Eagles improved to 19-and-3 overall with tournament wins over University Prep and Mount Baker on Saturday.
That's the focus for next week, for now it's mission accomplished for the Trojans.
"The expectation for us is to be in the state tournament every year, bar none or we haven't done our job, said Slesk. "That is where it's at right now and we've been lucky enough to get there almost every year. These kids have battled."
An turn-around season for Mount Baker baseball came to an end Saturday. The Mountaineers couldn't find their offense in district playoff losses to South Whidbey and University Prep at Sehome High School.
Ethan Petty and Brent Bachelor combined to strike out 10 and pitch a no-hitter for South Whidbey in a 5-0 win over Mt. Baker in the first game. All of the Falcons runs came in a 4-hit, 5th inning. The inning spoiled the return to the mound of Kaleb Bass who has battled tendonitus during his senior campaign.
It was another pitching gem in the loser-out, second game. Gus Coluccio struck out 11 Mountaineers and gave up just 2 hits in a 5-0 University Prep win.
Mount Baker finishes the season with a record of 9-and-13 after making the playoffs for the first time since 2013.
- Doug Lange
Meridian senior Dylan Hickok on the TDLN postgame show. PHOTO: Tyler Anderson
Meridian pitcher Art Madrigal picked up a complete game victory over King's in the district semifinal. PHOTO: Doug Lange
Season Ends for Mount Baker
The Mount Baker starters are introduced prior to their district playoff opener vs. South Whidbey at Sehome High School. PHOTO: Tyler Anderson
Mt. Baker shortstop Kaleb Bass holds University Prep runner Axel Andrews at second base. PHOTO: Doug Lange