The character of the Mount Si Wildcats baseball team was on display in their final at-bats of the 2018 season.
Mount Si, which trailed the Issaquah Eagles 8-1 after six innings of play, uncorked three hits and scored three runs in the top of the seventh inning, cutting Issaquah’s lead to four runs.
Issaquah relief pitcher Torin Crockett, who appeared in the top of the seventh inning after two outs were already recorded, gave up two hits before striking out Mount Si hitter Will Scott to preserve Issaquah’s 8-4 win against the Wildcats in a loser-out, KingCo 4A playoff game on May 4 at Bannerwood Park in Bellevue.
The Wildcats finished the 2018 season with an overall record of 11-10. Mount Si head coach Zach Habben was proud of the moxie and determination exuded by his team down the stretch despite trailing by seven runs.
“There was no give up in us. We didn’t stop fighting, which was great to see. It is what you like to see out of your team as a coach. We battled,” Habben said.
Mount Si finished the game with 12 hits but couldn’t cash in on opportunities to score a multitude of runs in the top of the first and the top of the fourth.
Mount Si had the bases loaded with two outs in the top of the first. Issaquah starting pitcher Justin Buckner struck out Mount Si hitter Michael Collins for the final out of the inning. With the Eagles leading the Wildcats 2-0 in the top of the fourth, Mount Si had the bases loaded with nobody out. Buckner was able to get Mount Si’s next two hitters (Cole Bostwick and Clayton Waltz) to fly out to right field. Buckner then struck out Mount Si lead-off hitter Trace Halvorson to quell the threat.
Issaquah head coach Rob Reese believed Buckner’s heroics in the top of the fourth was the key to the game.
“After we took the 2-0 lead, they loaded up the bases and Justin got out of that jam. It was an awesome performance in a loser-out game. That is what you need from a senior. He has been awesome all year and we hadn’t gotten him very much run support. Tonight we got him eight runs,” Reese said.
Habben wished the outcome would had turned out differently.
“We just didn’t capitalize when we had opportunities. We left a lot of guys on base,” Habben said.