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Marysville-Pilchuck Tommies split with Lake Stevens Vikings
Home stretch to determine North title
LAKE STEVENS — The Tommies are back to where they started after splitting the series against Lake Stevens.
In a battle that could have decided the Wesco North title, Marysville-Pilchuck suffered its first loss of the season April 20 at Lake Stevens in a 1-0 result.
"It's pretty much the same as where we started," said M-P manager Kurt Koshelnik. "But we did learn some things about not only Lake Stevens, but also ourselves and how some of our guys handle pressure situations."
The two teams were separated by five runs over the two games, which ended in a 9-5 score April 16 and the one-run game to follow. The split leaves each team with just one loss apiece on the season with Marysville-Pilchuck at 11-1 and Lake Stevens at 9-1.
For the most part, Koshelnik praised his pitchers for holding a Vikings team to just seven runs over two games, when Lake Stevens came into the series averaging 10 per contest.
"It was good for our guys to see really good hitting," he said. "Because we're going to be seeing more of that down the road. I wouldn't say that we stopped them, because they hit the ball pretty hard, but our guys did a good job of limiting runs."
Ironically, with the Viking's high-powered offense, the decisive run April 20 came in the second inning via a walk with bases loaded.
Pitching five innings for the Tommies, Matt Cooper struck out seven and battled a number of Lake Stevens runners throughout the game.
"Coop did a great job for us today, like he has done all season," Koshelnik said. "He was a little shaky here and there, but it really wasn't anything he couldn't handle."
Koshelnik also praised Kyle VanDalen, who pitched two innings of scoreless relief, allowing the Tommies to try and tie the score.
In perhaps there best opportunity to score a run in the final four innings, the Tommies had Brennan Steinbaugh in scoring position with just one out after he singled on a Texas leaguer and advanced on a walk, but were unable to capitalize.
Koshelnik gave credit to his opponent, saying they accomplished something that hadn't happened in at least a year.
"It's always a little shocking when you don't score any runs. I can't remember the last time the Tomahawks were shut out," he said.
Aside from Cooper and VanDalen, Koshelnik said that a number of players rose to the occasion, including Austin Denton.