Wildcats are Kingco champs!

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SNOQUALMIE - The Mount Si Wildcat baseball team finally was able to start the Kingco Tournament last Saturday. The tournament, being played at Bannerwood Park in Bellevue, had been scheduled to start for Mount Si last Thursday, but rain postponed those games until Saturday.

The extra layoff proved to be a bit much for the Wildcats as the Liberty Patriots stunned Mount Si 4-3 on Saturday morning. Liberty later took the Kingco's No. 1 seed to state and will be playing next weekend at the state regionals in Centralia.

The loss to Liberty forced the Wildcats into a rare Sunday night game with the Issaquah Eagles for the right to continue their season. The Wildcats' dream turned into a nightmare as the Eagles took an entire season of frustration against Mount Si out on the Wildcats in the first three innings, going up 9-3, and never looked back en route to a 13-4 rout that ended Mount Si's season much too soon.

The Eagles, who were 0-2 against the Wildcats in the regular season losing 1-0 and 7-3 to Mount Si, faced Newport Monday in the second-place game.

The Wildcats ended their season with a record of 16-5 as the 2005 regular season Kingco champions. With the large number of graduating seniors on the team, many questions remain about next year's squad. It has been eight years since Mount Si reached state, and this season's team was shaping up to be the Wildcats' best chance to make it back since that 1997 squad.

A number of players this season received Kingco all-league postseason baseball honors. Adam Dentz made the first team twice, for pitcher and first base. Brandon Sales joined him on the first team as a catcher. Craig Weber, in the outfield, and Blaine Sutton, as a pitcher, both made second team. Honorable mention awards went to Chris Brown, Tyler Starkel, Remo Castagno and Ian Atkinson.

There will be a game June 9 at Bannerwood that will feature the top local 3A and 4A senior players and will result in the selection of players for the all-state series later this spring. Dentz, Sutton, Sales, Starkel and Weber have all been selected, and Brown will play if someone else is unable to participate.

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