By Jeff Smarr
The Edmonds-Woodway Warriors boys baseball season ended in heartbreaking fashion Tuesday as the team fell 14-13 to the Cascade Bruins in a loser-out District 1 playoff game. The Warriors advanced the tying run to the plate in the bottom of the seventh inning, only to have two hard-hit grounders produce the final two outs of the game.
Things started promisingly for the home team, with the first seven Warriors scoring in the bottom of the first as they jumped to a 7-0 lead. Austin Holmes, Joey Rees, Mac McLachlan, Tate Budnick and Bryce Mezich all singled, with Alex Hull doubling and Jorgen Arnesen reaching on a walk.
The lead stayed at 7-0 until the top of the third when Cascade put together a rally that included 5 hits and 2 Warrior errors, and the Bruins closed the gap to 7-5. The Warriors answered back with two runs of their own to increase the lead to four runs.
The Warriors increased their lead to 11-7 after five innings before a sixth-inning rally by Cascade tied the game at 11. The Warriors failed to score in the bottom of the inning, sending the game to a decisive seventh inning. In the Cascade half, the first two hitters, Killian McGuire and Danny Townsend both singled, bringing Ryan Lucas to the plate. Lucas hit a fly to left that was off the fielder’s glove, allowing the runners to advance. The subsequent throw-in from the outfield went in the third base dugout, allowing the runners to advance and eventually leading to three runs scoring, giving the Bruins a 14-11 advantage with the Warriors coming to the plate with one last chance.
With one out in the Warrior seventh, Budnick singled, Jason Smarr was hit by a pitch and Troy Rheinford doubled down the left field line, scoring both Budnick and Smarr. Unfortunately the rally ended one run short as both Chantz Justice’s and Holmes’ balls were fielded cleanly by Cascade, and Rheinford was left stranded on second to end the Warriors’ season.
Hitting highlights for the Warriors included Joey Rees with four, Mezich with four, and Holmes, Rheinford and McLachlan with two hits apiece. With the win, Cascade advances to face Kamiak on Thursday. E-W ends the season with a 17-6 record and a Wesco South title under their belt.