With the cottonwood trees around Bellevue’s Bannerwood Field shedding their fluffy white seeds in a light wind, it appeared at times that the WIAA State 3A Baseball Tournament round-of-16 game between the Edmonds-Woodway Warriors and the Mountain View Mighty Thunder was being played in a snowstorm.
The Warriors were buried by a third-inning avalanche of six Thunder runs, and E-W was unable to dig out — ultimately losing to Mountain View 8-0 on Saturday.
With the loss, the Warriors saw their trip to the state tournament — and their 2019 season — end.
The Thunder sent 12 batters to the plate in the fateful third inning that began quietly with Garrett Moen grounding out to Warrior pitcher Ian Michael. But the next four Mountain View hitters all reached base safely, starting with Isaiah Parker’s triple to deep left center field. Add a pair of walks, a hit batsman, a passed ball and an error, and the Thunder had scored six runs.
“It just cascaded, one hit followed another hit,” E-W Coach Dan Somoza said of the third inning. “They got hits with runners in scoring position and we couldn’t get that done today too and that was the difference in the game.”
“Ian’s been money for us all year long and they had one inning where they really tagged him pretty good,” Somoza continued. “And we just couldn’t fight back from that.”
The Thunder had four hits in six at-bats with runners in scoring position in the third inning alone, 5-for-8 in the game. The Warriors, meanwhile, went 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position.
E-W collected just three hits in the contest, two off Mountain View starter Riley McCarthy — a first inning double by Tommy Oda and a second inning single by Read Carr — and a seventh inning single by Karsen Tjarneberg off Thunder reliever Aaron Hsu.
McCarthy especially kept the Warrior hitters guessing throughout his five innings of work. “He kept us off-balanced there,” Somoza noted. “He was a little wild then he would throw a strike with his curve, so it was a little weird like that. And our guys just couldn’t get that big hit. Sometimes you get it and sometimes you don’t; today we definitely did not.”
It was an emotional dugout and postgame meeting for the Warriors after the defeat, with coaches sharing final thoughts with the players before they dispersed to parents, family and friends.
“We fully expected to win today but only one team can win it in the end and so it’s tough,” Somoza said. “We thought we had a good chance and the other team came out and played a really good game and we just didn’t have our ‘A’ game today.”
Somoza’s final words to his squad expanded on more than just Saturday’s loss.
“It’s not always about winning the state title or chasing rings – that is our goal every year — but it’s about being a team, about loving one another and having fun playing the game of baseball and setting you up for the game of life. And this team defined the definition of a team.”
Saturday’s game was the last for the seven Edmonds-Woodway seniors, none of whom plan on playing college baseball, making the end to the 2019 season that much more poignant.
“I’m very proud of our seniors who took us to the final four for two years and then took us to state again our senior year,” Somoza stated. “Things just didn’t go our way today and it was tough, but that’s not what defines us.”
“We’re not just a bunch of Division I players running around in our one-through-nine; our guys just compete (and) played well all year,” Somoza concluded. “We go back to our motto which is ‘selfless, relentless, one pitch, Warriors,’ and I think this team defined it.”
To view the entire WIAA State 3A Baseball Tournament bracket, click http://wiaa.com/ardisplay.aspx?ID=1824.
Prep Baseball: Edmonds-Woodway vs. Mountain View, May 18 (WIAA State 3A Baseball Tournament round-of-16 loser-out game)
Edmonds-Woodway 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 — 0 3 1
Mountain View 0 1 6 1 0 0 x — 8 8 1
Winning pitcher: Riley McCarthy (Mountain View)
Losing pitcher: Ian Michael (Edmonds-Woodway)
Records: Edmonds-Woodway 14-11 overall; Mountain View 22-2 overall
Edmonds-Woodway next game: 2019 season completed
— By Doug Petrowski