MOUNT VERNON — The Marysville-Pilchuck baseball team can always hit the ball and play defense. But with only two main pitchers, you had to wonder how deep it could go in the state playoffs.
The answer: not very far.
The Arlington Eagles, on the other hand, are very deep in pitching. And they hit and play defense pretty well too.
That’s why they won the Wesco 3A North during league play and the Tomahawks won the District 1 tournament.
But the Eagles didn’t go far either. The state playoffs take it to a different level. That was proved Saturday in Mount Vernon as M-P lost to Bonney Lake 12-6 and Arlington fell to Eastside Catholic 6-5. The losses ended both of their seasons. In the next round Eastside Catholic demolished Bonney Lake 12-1.
M-P was playing its first state playoff game in nine years. Ace Eric Anderson and lefty Tyler DeVries were on an impressive run, shutting down opponents in their past few games.
But against Bonney Lake, the pair gave up 14 hits.
Anderson gave up seven runs in the first two innings, unprecedented for him. An error caused four of them to be unearned, however.
M-P fought back with four runs in the third. Bailey Alvis, Jordan Luton and Anderson all got hits then Colby Phelps hit an RBI single. Jordan Justice knocked in a run with a sacrifice fly for the first out. Trevor Anderson singled in another run and then Mark Bielawski grounded out for another RBI to make it 7-5.
But that was as close as the Tomahawks would get as the Panthers got a solo homer the next inning after DeVries replaced Anderson on the mound.
M-P made some big defensive plays to hang in there. Bielawski stood out at shortstop and Justice threw out a Panther at home, with M-P catcher Luton tagging the runner.
The Tommies had a potential big inning thwarted in the fifth, thanks to a double play. Phelps walked and Justice singled. After a double play, Bielawski kept the deficit at two with an RBI single. But the Panthers tacked on four more runs that included two homers, one by Oregon State signee Matthew Gretler, his 12th of the season.
M-P coach James Day was proud of the team’s 19-5 season. He coached the senior-laden squad all four of their years in high school.
“For the last four years (they’ve been) such great kids on and off the field,” Day told The Herald.
Meanwhile, Eastside Catholic avenged a 2-0 loss to Arlington in last year’s regional state playoffs.
Arlington ended the season with a 21-3 record.
Despite the loss, Arlington coach Scott Striegel is still excited about the team’s success the past few years, and what he expects in years to come as he will only lose five seniors.
“Baseball wasn’t real strong in Arlington for a handful of years, and this senior class made three trips in a row to the state tournament, and that’s a huge deal,” he told The Herald.
Like in the M-P game, Arlington dug a huge hole for itself early on.
Eastside Catholic scored four runs off Eagle ace underclassman Owen Bishop in the bottom of the first inning. The home team added a homer in the third to make it 5-2, but the Eagles scored three runs in the fifth on a double by Michael Tsoukalas and a sacrifice fly by Bishop to knot the score at 5-5.
An RBI single in the bottom of the inning was the difference maker, as Arlington was held scoreless from there.