Baseball: E-W seniors play key role in 7-2 win over Cascade

Wednesday was Senior Day for the Edmonds-Woodway High School baseball team and the Warriors celebrated by not only honoring their four seniors, but also by winning their final regular season game, 7-2, over the Cascade Bruins.  It was the 11th win for the Warriors in their last 12 games and — as the second seed — get ready for the playoffs to start this Saturday.

Before the game, the four Warrior seniors were honored along with their families.

Austin Whitehouse

Austin Whitehouse (Photos by Jennifer Budnick)

Austin Whitehouse: Played four years, lettering the last two. Whitehouse is firmly entrenched in this year’s starting pitching rotation, second on the team in wins. Austin is deciding between Edmonds and Shoreline community colleges to both play baseball and begin his pursuit of a degree in special education. Says Coach Dan Somoza, “He didn’t play a lot until this year and then this year’s he’s just pitched outstanding all year long. I’m very impressed by his poise on the mound and his willingness to play any position when asked.”

Jason Smarr

Jason Smarr

Jason Smarr: Began playing as a sophomore, lettering all three years. Started all but one game in center field. On-base percentage .424, led the team in stolen bases and tied in runs scored. Smarr will announce shortly where he’s signing to play basketball and/or baseball next year. Says Somoza,” Jason has improved so much since his sophomore year. He’s a complete player. He starts our offense, puts pressure on the opposing pitchers. It’s fun to see him turn into the player he is.”

Mac McLachlan

Mac McLachlan

Mac McLachlan: Co-captain, four-year letterman. Played mostly left field until midway through this year when he began catching too. On-base percentage over .450 while leading the team with two triples. Mac is heading to Eastern Washington University this fall to play football. Says Somoza, “ He’s just a flat-out hitter. He works the count, does whatever it takes to get on base. He plays full speed all the time. I respect and admire him as an athlete.”

Tate Budnick

Tate Budnick

Tate Budnick: Co-captain, four-year letterman. Leads the team in nearly every statistical category both in pitching and hitting, including going 4-1 with a 1.76 ERA. Carrying a .482 batting average, OBP .544 and an OPS of 1.365. Budnick plans to attend Everett CC on a baseball scholarship and then transfer to a four-year school. Somoza on Budnick, “The thing about Tate is he leads the team in just about every statistic imaginable, yet all he cares about is winning. He’s our best pitcher, hitter and just a great kid too. It’s been great to have him around all this time.”

The seniors played a key role in Wednesday’s game, too. Whitehouse pitched five strong innings to earn the win, giving up only one unearned run to improve to 3-1 on the season. Budnick went 2-3 with a double, 2 RBI and two runs scored. McLachlan scored both times he reached base and Smarr hit a double off the wall and scored in the fourth inning when the Warriors put the game out of reach.

The Warriors scored early, with McLachlan opening the game getting hit by a pitch, stealing second, advancing to third on a ground-out to first by Smarr and then scoring on a Budnick ground out. E-W would add to its lead in the second, as Joey Rees singled, advanced to second on a Brady Edwards groundout and then scored when Chantz Justice hit a double off the left field wall.

The fourth inning was the big offensive explosion for the Warriors, as they sent eight men to the plate, scoring four runs and increasing the lead to six, 7-1. Smarr, Rees and Brett Stoneman all had doubles in the rally, which saw the Warriors score all their runs with two outs.

With Whitehouse out of the game, Stoneman, Dominic Marinez and Austin Vaughn Jones each pitched an inning in relief, limiting the Bruins to only one run. For Marinez, it was his first appearance pitching this season as he is just now back from ACL surgery in the offseason.

The Warriors finished in second place in the Wesco South, one game behind the Bruins. The finish earns them the second seed as the District 1 playoffs begin this Saturday. The Warriors will host their first round match-up against Arlington at Warrior Field. Game time is 2 p.m. “I know they (Arlington) have a good pitcher, but we just need to worry about ourselves,” Somoza said. “This is the kind of year that everybody has a chance, including us.”

Cascade 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 – 2 3 0
E-W 1 1 1 4 0 0 2 – 7 9 0

Records E-W 11-4, 13-7; Cascade 12-3, 16-4

– By Jeff Smarr

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