Lions’ opener is Saturday, again at Anacortes
WHATCOM — Of four baseball teams entering district playoffs last week, three emerged with state berths. Lynden, Meridian and Sehome are all heading to the WIAA State Baseball Tournament on Saturday to begin quests for the title, while Blaine was eliminated in the 2A District 1-2 tournament.
Meridian had already clinched its Class 1A state berth on May 4 by beating King’s 2-1. Advancing to the bi-district championship against Cedar Park Christian (Bothell), the Trojans had won four straight, but they got hammered in this title game at Joe Martin Field, 12-0.
The Trojans (11-11), making their fourth straight trip to the state playoffs, face Seattle Christian (16-5) in their state opener at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 18, at Castle Rock High School.
The Trojans are seeking their first state playoff win since 2012.
The Seattle Christian Warriors, winners of five of their last six, were runner-up finishers in the five-team 1A Nisqually League. They earned their state regional berth with an 11-1 mercy-rule win in five innings over Klahowya on May 11 in the 1A West Central District tournament. Warriors ace Nolen Stevenson struck out 10 in the victory.
A win would pit Meridian against the winner of Montesano and College Place at 4 p.m. on Saturday in the quarterfinals. The first two games of the state tournament are loser-out matches.
In the 2A ranks, Lynden and Sehome needed to do just one thing in the district playoffs Saturday in Anacortes: win one game. They each did just that.
Lynden took down Anacortes 4-2 on its own field and Sehome blew out Sedro-Woolley 11-0 in a five-inning mercy-rule win. That clinched state appearances for both and set up a showdown between the Lions and the Mariners in the third/fourth-place game.
Lynden’s Preston King had a monster day at the plate, as the senior drove in six runs on three hits to lead the Lions to a 10-2 victory to nab the third seed over Sehome. Senior Dylan Parcels struck out four across five innings for the pitching win.
The Lions got the luck of the draw for state tournament in playing its first round at Daniels Field in Anacortes, where the Lions have played their last four games and gone 3-1, the one loss being a narrow 4-2 defeat at the hands of Sehome in the district opener on May 4.
That’s about the only break Lynden gets, however. The opposition is stiff. The Lions (18-5), second-place finishers in the Northwest Conference, face 2A South Puget Sound League West champion Fife (19-3) at 10 a.m.
The Trojans have won 13 of their past 14 and finished the regular season with 15-0, 18-0 and 20-0 victories. The Lions are winners in nine of their past 10 and recorded eight shutouts during the regular season.
A win over Fife would put Lynden against the winner of North Mason and Liberty at 4 p.m. Saturday, still at Daniels Field.
Sehome (16-9) travels a bit further to Auburn High School to take on Olympic League 2A Division champion Port Angeles (19-4) in its state opener at 1 p.m. Saturday.
The Mariners, fourth-place finishers in the Northwest Conference, have won 12 of their last 14 after starting the season with five straight losses. They last won state when they went back-to-back in 2007 and 2008.
The Port Angeles Roughriders won the West Central District III championship with a 3-2 win over Fife on May 11. Three of the Roughriders’ four losses are to Class 3A teams.
A win for Sehome would place them against the winner of Columbia River and West Valley (Spokane) at 4 p.m. Saturday at Auburn High School.