Prep baseball: Grizzlies edge Royals 5-4 for District title

After seven innings of baseball, Lynnwood and Glacier Peak had yet to determine a winner in their battle for the District 1 Championship at Everett Stadium. Lynnwood had a chance to go ahead in the top of the first extra inning, but after failing to do so, Glacier Peak was able to combine a lead-off triple from Devin Kamihara with a game-winning single by Geoff Rogers to take the title 5-4.

Each team, despite having runners on base in multiple innings, saw their runs come in one big rally for each side, with the Royals getting their four in the first inning and the Grizzlies adding four in the second.

The Royals took control early, as lead-off hitter Chase Hacker walked on four pitches. After a strikeout, Kyler McMahan lined a ball over second, easily advancing Hacker who was running on the play. After McMahan stole second, catcher Brady Girgus was intentionally walked, a move that backfired when David Cooper laced a single through the hole that scored two. Girgus scored on a passed ball and then Cooper, who also had advanced, was plated by a sac fly to left from Rome Boyer.

Brice Foster was able to shut down the Grizzlies in order in the first, but in the second inning, Glacier Peak used a two-out, bases-loaded triple to even the score at 4. The Royals had several chances to end the threat, but three errors kept the inning alive before Ethan Smith hit a fly ball just past the Lynnwood right fielder that would clear the bases.

“We made a few errors that hurt us, but that happens,” said Royals Coach Fraser Dizard.

Lynnwood had a chance to add to the lead in the fourth, stranding a runner on third, but the Royals’ big chance came in the fifth. After Foster reached on an error, McMahan walked and Girgus bunted for a single to load the bases. After a strikeout, Cooper sent what looked to be his second sacrifice fly of the night, but the runner — who was tagging from third — was called out on appeal for leaving early. After Dizard’s lengthy and eventually heated discussion with the umpires, the call stood and the game remained tied.

Glacier Peak had opportunities to score in both the fourth and the sixth inning. In the fourth, they loaded the bases with no outs, but Foster got Nate Sanders to ground into a force out and struck out the next batter, and then Smith flied out harmlessly to center. In the sixth, the bases were again loaded with Grizzlies, but Foster got another a strikeout and his shortstop McMahan backhanded a grounder in the hole and the throw just beat the runner for the final out.

“Foster’s been great this year, he’s been out there battling, he wanted it,” Dizard said. “He pitched well; unfortunately we had a few things not go our way, so he didn’t get the win.”

In the top of the seventh, Lynnwood had runners on first and third, but threat ended with a strikeout. After a 1-2-3 seventh for Glacier Peak, the game went into extra innings. Lynnwood threatened again with Nick Holmes and Riley Eres reaching, but again were unable to score. “We had plenty of opportunities to win the game, we just couldn’t get the key hit,” said Dizard.

The Grizzlies went right to work in their half of the inning, as Kamihara led off the bottom of the eighth with a triple to the center field wall. On the next pitch, Geoff Rogers had his fourth hit of the night, a single past the drawn-in second baseman to score Kamihara for the game winner and the District 1 title for Glacier Peak

Lynnwood had beaten Stanwood 2-1 and Marysville-Pilchuk 3-1 to get to the title game.  The Grizzlies took two out of three against the Royals in the regular season, with the only Lynnwood win coming in the series finale, 9-8 on April 15. The two teams had the same conference record at 12-6, but Glacier Peak had taken the conference title because of the better head-to-head record.

Despite the loss, Lynnwood still advances to the State 3A tournament this weekend, but will have to travel to Kelso to play Central Kitsap in the first round, in a single-elimination game. The game starts at 1 p.m. with the winner playing in the round of eight at 4 p.m. Glacier Peak, meanwhile, will play at Skagit Valley College, vs. Lakeside.

While visibly upset, Dizard took the game in stride. “We knew coming in that we would be playing this weekend either way. Now, we just have to step back, take tomorrow off and get ready to play.”

Lynnwood (15-7)   4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0-4

Glacier Peak(16-7) 0 4 0 0 0 0 0 1-5



— By Jeff Smarr


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