Mistakes cost Wildcats game

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BELLEVUE - The Wildcats made it to the first round of the 3A KingCo League baseball playoffs for a game against Sammamish last Tuesday, but Mount Si squandered several opportunities to advance and play Skyline, the No. 1-ranked team in the league. The 'Cats lost to the Totems 7-3.

They held Sammamish from scoring any runs in the first inning, but gave up three in the second. With runners at second and third, a long double was hit to the right-field fence that brought in two base runners. Later in the inning, catcher David LaBelle was unable to handle a pitch, which cost Mount Si another run.

The team also gave up three runs in the top of the sixth inning. The Totems' lead-off batter was safe at first on an infield error because a Mount Si player slipped. While the Mount Si player was scrambling for the ball, the runner stole second.

The next batter hit a single and was safe at first when a Wildcat infielder again slipped on the wet ground. The runner on second also advanced to third.

During the next at-bat, Sammamish's first-base runner stole second. Mount Si pitcher Brent Clarke threw to second, but it was too high and ended up in center field, scoring a run and sending the Totems runner to third. Sammamish tacked on two more runs before the inning ended.

"We had three plays that we did not make defensively that cost us five runs. If we make those three plays, we win," said coach Gary McGregor about the sixth inning.

The 'Cats held the Totems scoreless in the seventh, but the damage had already been done. Mount Si walked off the field with an early end to its successful season.

"Bryce [Kaestner], Nick [Harpel] and Brent pitched well enough to give us a chance to win, and that is all I can ask of them," McGregor said. "We came into the tournament knowing we had to play very well to be successful."

The team had already beat Sammamish in two games earlier this season: On March 20, they won 5-2, and on April 12 they bested the Totems 10-5.

"... It is very hard to beat a team in this league three times," McGregor said.

McGregor said he's disappointed that the nine seniors on the team had to end their season this way, but Sammamish simply took advantage of good opportunities.

"Credit has to be given to the Sammamish team," McGregor said. "They played well and capitalized on the mistakes we made."

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