BELLINGHAM — Opening the day with a 3-1 victory over Overlake/Bear Creek in the first round of Saturday’s 1A Bi-District Tournament at Joe Martin Field, the Lynden Christian baseball team found itself in position to clinch the program’s first spot in the state regional round of the postseason since 2003 when it faced Cedar Park Christian (Bothell) in the semifinal round later that afternoon.
In a back-and-forth affair, LC led CPC 4-3 after the Lyncs drove in two runs in the bottom of the sixth. To start the seventh, Cedar Park junior Michael Doyle, facing Lynden Christian senior Tanner Jansen, started a rally for the Eagles when he hit a triple. Then sophomore Jenson Lavering reached on an infield hit before stealing second. Senior George Reidy, who pitched into the sixth inning, came up next amd tied the game at 4-4 with an RBI single.
Following a groundout, CPC freshman Cole Fazio, who had three hits in the game, drove in two runs to give the Eagles a 6-4 lead. Jansen was then pulled from the mound and replaced by freshman Luke Johnson, who got the final two outs of the inning for the Lyncs.
Lynden Christian created its own noise In the bottom of the seventh. Junior Cole Langstraat hit a single to start the frame, and then senior Jared Smit managed a base knock to give LC runners at first and third base with just one out. Jansen came up and laced a line drive to the outfield, only for the Cedar Park defender to make a leaping catch for the out.
With two outs, freshman Shale Whittern came up with his second RBI of the game, scoring Langstraat on a single to make the score 6-5. Senior Dylan VanderYacht walked to load the bases, setting up senior Shane Whittern with a golden opportunity to tie or win the game. The versatile center fielder battled against CPC senior Ryan Maxwell, but Whittern wound up popping out to end the game.
Jansen pitched 6.1 innings for the Lyncs, striking out two batters. Langstraat had two hits and an RBI. Shane Whittern scored two runs and was twice hit by a pitch.
Cedar Park Christian (16-5) advanced to the bi-district championship game at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, May 12, against University Prep at Joe Martin Field. The Eagles also guaranteed themselves a top-two finish in the tournament, clinching a spot in the 1A state regional playoffs.
The Lyncs (13-9) drop to the consolation bracket where they will face South Whidbey in a loser-out game at 12:30 p.m. Saturday at Sehome High School. The winner of that one moves on to the third-place game, which determines the final state berth from the bi-district, at 2:30 p.m. Saturday against the Nooksack Valley/Meridian winner.
LC hasn’t reached the state regional round of the postseason since 2003.
Robertson powers LC past Overlake/Bear Creek 3-1
Lynden Christian defeated Overlake/Bear Creek 3-1 to start Saturday’s tournament action. Junior Payton Robertson pitched 6.2 innings with an impressive 10 strikeouts for the Lyncs, allowing just three hits and one run in picking up the win on the mound. The junior also collected two hits and an RBI at the plate.
Anker also had an RBI for LC. Senior Ty VanDyken, Shane Whittern and Langstraat all scored runs and sophomore Zach Sipma managed two hits.