Prep baseball: Mavs edge Royals to stay alive in hunt for state berth

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After splitting two games during the regular season, Wednesday’s playoff match-up between the Meadowdale Mavericks and the Lynnwood Royals was not only for bragging rights between the two teams, but the winner would get to play for a WIAA state tournament berth on Saturday, May 12.

It was the Mavs that quickly pounced on the opportunity.

Meadowdale sent 13 batters to the plate in the first inning, jumped out to a 7-0 lead and kept the Royals at arms-length the rest of the game to grab an 8-5 victory in a District 1 3A Baseball Tournament loser-out contest played at Mountlake Terrace High School.

The Mavs took advantage of five walks, stole five bases and pounded out four hits – including two ground-rule doubles – in the bottom of the first to build their big early advantage.

Meadowdale’s Tommy Dimmock connected for one of the doubles with a shot that bounced over the right field fence, scoring Will Schafer and Parker Cumberland for the team’s first two runs of the game. Cole Duncan added a two-run double later in the inning on a pitch off Lynnwood starter Carson Speegle.

In his second at-bat of the first inning, Schafer spanked a two-run single to right field off Lynnwood pitcher Nick Holmes, who came in to relieve Speegle.

Dimmock pointed to the spirit in the Mavs’ dugout as a factor in the team’s big first inning. “It’s the mentality in the dugout — we’re all hyped up, everybody’s trying to do the next best thing to get some more runs across,” Dimmock said.

The Mavs added a single run in the second inning without the benefit of a hit after a throwing error, a passed ball, a stolen base and a fielder’s choice.

The Royals were able to chip away at the Mavs’ advantage with a pair of runs in the second inning, two more in the fourth and one in the fifth. The big blast in the game for Lynnwood was a two-out two-run double by Daniel Smith in the fourth inning.

Blake Tablazon reached home for Lynnwood in the fifth inning on a double steal, making the score 8-5. But that was as close as the Royals would get as Meadowdale relief pitcher Cole Nelson retired nine of the Royals’ final ten batters to preserve the victory.

Despite the season-ending loss, Lynnwood Coach Andrew Knudsen liked what he saw in his squad on Wednesday.

“I’m just proud of my guys that they were able to stay with it and make it a ballgame at the end and not just let it fall to the wayside,” Knudsen said. “Our whole thing this year has been battling back and staying tough no matter what. And that’s what kind of changed the course of our season. And that’s how we played it out today to the very end.”

After winning just one of their first nine games this year, the Royals compiled an 8-7 record over the remainder of the season. It was that turnaround that Knudsen said he would remember most from his first year leading the program.

“The last (15) games, that we’ve been able to put together a winning record, has been the best part,” Knudsen stated. “To have the guys finally jell together and see that and be a part of that and be that leader is definitely my favorite memory.”

The season will continue for Meadowdale as the team heads back to Everett Memorial Stadium — site of a loss to Marysville-Pilchuck earlier in the district tourney — to face Arlington on Saturday. The victor of that contest will get the final District 1 berth into the regional round of the WIAA 3A State Baseball Tournament.

The Mavs haven’t qualified for a state baseball tournament since 2013 —  Dimmock, a senior, is hoping to change that on Saturday.

“It would mean so much to our seniors, of course, to get that state berth; it would just be everything,” he said. “That’s our goal every year, but this year especially since it’s my last season – it’d be awesome.”

To view the entire District 1 3A Baseball Tournament bracket, click https://www.wescoathletics.com/tournament.php?tournament_id=2637&sport_id=6.

Prep Baseball: Lynnwood vs. Meadowdale, May 9 (District 1 3A Baseball Tournament loser-out game)

Lynnwood      0 2   0 2  1 0 0     — 5 4 2

Meadowdale      7 1   0 0  0 0 x     — 8 6 1

Winning pitcher: Tommy Dimmock (Meadowdale)

Losing pitcher: Carson Speegle (Lynnwood)

Records: Lynnwood 9-15 overall; Meadowdale 17-6 overall

Lynnwood next game: 2018 season completed

Meadowdale next game: versus Arlington, Saturday, May 12, 1:00 p.m. at Everett Memorial Stadium (District 1 3A Baseball Tournament 3rd place / loser-out game)

— By Doug Petrowski

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