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Wildcat baseball in stretch run
SNOQUALIME - It has been a tough season for the Mount Si Wildcats' baseball team, full of more downs than ups.
Last Monday, the Interlake Saints came to Mount Si and scored its first league win of the year, 5-3. For a Wildcats team that was coming off a bad week, including the embarrassing April 22 loss to Bellevue in which the Wolverines scored 13 runs in an inning en route to a 16-2 blowout, things certainly couldn't have gotten much worse, except they did.
"Disappointing loss, but I think the effort was there. I think we picked up the intensity towards the end a little bit too late, but we came back and scored some runs off of [the Interlake pitcher]," said the Wildcats' senior infielder/pitcher Jordan Lettau.
Interlake scored three times to break a scoreless tie in the fifth. The key hit was a ground-rule double that scored a run. The Saints scored twice more in the seventh. The Wildcats attempted to rally in the bottom of the seventh when Mount Si scored three times, keyed by a two run pinch-hit double by senior Alex VanOeveren. The rally ended on a fly out by senior outfielder Alex Smart.
The lows of the previous game turned to highs last Wednesday. The Wildcats traveled to Carnation to play Cedarcrest, and a home-run derby broke out.
Junior infielder Chris Brown hit a pair of home runs, and Smart and junior Brandon Sales also homered to give Mount Si a 6-4 win over the Red Wolves that put a crimp in Cedarcrest's postseason plans.
Junior Adam Dentz and senior Ian Opsal both pitched well, despite each of them giving up a home run. Ross Gomes hit a homer for Cedarcrest off of Dentz in the fifth, then Jeff Eldred homered for the Red Wolves off of Opsal in the seventh.
"[Dentz] pitched another great game, and Ian did a fantastic job in relief in the sixth and seventh innings," said the Wildcats' coach Gary McGregor. "We showed we are capable of playing good baseball tonight, everyone contributed something during the game, the guys played well."
Senior Evan Hillburn added three hits to the Wildcats' effort.
"I told them that after the game that I was proud of them for not giving up and laying over and playing dead and just going home"
Mount Si baseball coach
Mount Si was officially eliminated from the postseason hunt last Friday, but they didn't go
down without a fight.
Trailing 10-2 at one point late in the game, the Wildcats rallied to make things interesting, but Newport held on to take the win, 10-8, at Bannerwood Park in Bellevue.
"I told them that after the game that I was proud of them for not giving up and laying over and playing dead and just going home," said McGregor.
Dentz was the offensive star of the day for Mount Si going 3-for-4 with a triple and two RBI's. Smart and junior Craig Weber added two hits each to the effort.
The Knights scored five times in the bottom of the first off of Wildcats' starting pitcher Opsal, and it was catch-up time from then on for Mount Si.
After three innings, Newport built a 7-1 lead, then propelled that to 10-2 after five. The Wildcats then rallied, scoring six unanswered runs over the final two innings; with Dentz's triple in the seventh being the big hit in that rally. The desperate comeback fell short, however, and Mount Si was left to wonder what might have been, not just of the game, but of the season as a whole.
The Wildcats final home game of the year is Wednesday against Issaquah, and it will be the last game for nine seniors in a Wildcat uniform. They are: Lettau, Hillburn, Smart, Opsal, VanOeveren, Justin Lewis, Mike Lindor, Matty Secord and Alec Sattler.