From left to right: Lynden senior James Marsh, Meridian sophomore Ethan Brooks & Sehome senior Tyler Reynolds. PHOTOS: Doug Lange
State Baseball: Three For The Road
May 17, 2019
Three Whatcom County prep baseball teams open up the state playoffs Saturday with the goal of eventually reaching the final four in Yakima on Memorial Day weekend. First Meridian, Lynden and Sehome will hit the road looking for regional wins.
Meridian will travel the farthest. The Trojans (11-11) will battle Seattle Christian at Castle Rock High School at 10am. A win would send them into a match-up against either College Place or Montesano at 4pm.
The Trojans are returning to Castle Rock, where they fell 1-0 last year to King's Way Christian in the opening round of regionals. Despite the loss coach Steve Slesk says heading back to familiar territory is and advantage.
"Absolutely, there's no doubt about it. Just being on that field before, being in that environment, you know you can't teach that," said Slesk. "You can't teach experience and there something to be said that you've been in that position before."
Lynden will open 2A regionals Saturday with an early game as well. The Lions (18-5) won't have far to travel though with a 10am game versus Fife (19-3) at Volunteer Park in Anacortes. The winner advances to a 4pm game against either Liberty or North Mason.
Lynden will send Preston King to the mound versus the Trojans. King came up big last Saturday in the district tournament. The senior picked up the pitching victory in a 4-2 winner to state/loser out contest versus Anacortes. He then followed that up with 6 RBI's in the 10-2 win over Sehome in the 3rd/4th place game.
Lynden coach Cory White easy the pitching out of King has been consistent all year long.
"He's just out there to do his job and rely upon you to do your job, said White. "He's a great kid to have out on the mound because his demeanor is so good. He's just gonna go out there and try to pound the zone."
Sehome will open their 2A state run with an afternoon start at Auburn High School in a match-up against Port Angeles at 1:00pm. The Mariners (16-9) are making a return trip to the regionals at Auburn High School after falling in the quarterfinals last year. The winner will play Columbia River or West Valley at 4pm.
Sehome has gone 11-and-4 over their last 15 games. They got a strong performance out of Makana Grondin last Saturday. The senior launched a first inning, 3-run home run to spearheaded an 11-0 victory over Sedro-Woolley in their winner to state/loser out contest at Volunteer Park.
"Makana's really focused. He's really in a groove, hitting the ball hard. He gets on these streaks, said Sehome coach Monte Walton. "Last year he was on the same streak going into the end of the season, 7 or 8 game streak hitting doubles and homeruns. So he's been really focused, he's a leader, he knows what it takes and he's showing that on the field, especially at the plate."
Port Angeles (19-4) returns to the state tournament after falling in the round of 16 last year. The Roughriders had a 14-game win streak snapped in a one-run loss to Peninsula in their regular season finale. They responded by winning the district 3 tournament in three games, including a 2-1 win over Fife in the title game.
The final four for 1A and 2A state will be held at Yakima County Stadium May 24th and 25th.
- Doug Lange