Mount Si clinches first ever Kingco title

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SNOQUALMIE - It was a great week to be a Wildcats baseball fan. Four wins last week, most in dramatic fashion, have propelled the Mount Si baseball team, ranked No. 2 in the state high-school 3A baseball poll last week, into uncharted positive waters.

The Wildcats last Monday rallied to beat the Liberty Patriots in eight innings, 3-2. Adam Dentz and Chris Brown once again pitched well and it was their efforts that helped keep the Wildcats in the ballgame. The Patriots scored twice in the first, then Mount Si got on the scoreboard in the second when Remo Castagno's groundout scored Dentz from third base. The Wildcats tied the game in the sixth on a Craig Weber single that scored Brandon Sales. Mount Si won the game in dramatic fashion in the bottom of the eighth. With two out and Weber on first, Dentz hit a ball over the head of Liberty center fielder Jeff Moeller that went to the wall, scoring Weber with the winning run. Dentz was credited with a double on the play and finished 2-4. Sales walked three times to help the cause as well.

'Cats down Eagles

Last Wednesday, the Wildcats once again rallied from an early deficit and took care of the Issaquah Eagles. The Eagles scored once in the second to take the lead, only to see Mount Si tie things in the third at 1-1 on an Ian Atkinson walk with the bases loaded that scored Castagno from third base. Issaquah scored twice in the fourth to take the lead back, then the Wildcats took control in the fifth. Atkinson's squeeze-bunt single scored Castagno and Tyler Starkel to tie the game, then Brown hit a shot to the right center field wall for a double that scored Atkinson and Dentz to put Mount Si in the lead at 5-3. The Wildcats went on and won 7-3.

Atkinson's bunt was nothing new for him, according to Mount Si coach Gary McGregor.

"It was a pressure situation but he's been there before and he's come through for us before," McGregor said.

Atkinson was ready to do whatever it took.

"Once I saw coach gave me the sign, I knew I had to get it down because I knew he'd be mad if I didn't. I just was trying to get the ball down, get it in play," he said.

Seniors honored before win against Interlake

The large contingent of seniors on Mount Si's team were honored last Thursday at Bannerwood Park in Bellevue prior to the contest against the Interlake Saints. The seniors celebrated what was technically their last "home" game as Wildcats in style and walloped the Saints 6-0.

Like the previous meeting between the two teams, the sixth inning once again was the story. Only this time it was all Mount Si bats all the time. The Wildcats scored four runs to blow open what had been a close game up to that point. The big hit came when Aaron McLemore laid down a squeeze bunt, which, thanks to two separate Interlake throwing errors, scored three runs, including McLemore himself. Dentz singled in the fourth run of the inning.

Mount Si clinches No. 1 against Mercer Island

The Wildcats, on Saturday morning, went to Mercer Island to make up a contest with the Islanders that had been postponed twice and it turned out to be prom day for the Wildcats. Mount Si overcame all the distractions and posted a 3-0 win that clinched the program's first ever Kingco 3A regular season championship. Brown was the story but the defense played a big role as well. The senior tossed a complete game one-hitter and added a two-run home run over the left field wall in the fourth to help the Wildcats' cause. McGregor said there's still a lot of unfinished business despite the historic win.

"We'll probably feel different in a couple days after the Newport and Bellevue games but it's not over yet," said McGregor.

Mount Si will be the No. 1 seed in next week's Kingco Baseball Tournament at Bannerwood Park in Bellevue. Should the Wildcats win the tournament, they would advance to state; otherwise, their season could be over since Kingco only has one automatic state berth this season. The conference has a shot at a second berth but would have to beat a Metro League team on the Metro's home field to clinch that spot. Not only do the Wildcats have that going for them but there is a chance they could be ranked No. 1 this week in the state poll, which was scheduled for release on on May 10.

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