ANACORTES - The Bellingham baseball team picked a difficult time for its offense to abandon it.
Three days after being held to three hits in a shutout loss to Archbishop Murphy, Bellingham managed only two on Tuesday, May 7, in an elimination game of the Class 2A District 1/2 Tournament.
Though the Red Raiders managed to push across a fourth-inning run, it wasn't enough against a high-powered Lake Washington offense in a 6-1 season-ending loss.
"I think that's a guy we usually handle, but I don't know," Bellingham coach David Farrell said. "We hit a bad time to struggle with the sticks at the end of the year. We put balls in play and had a couple good ABs, but he did a good job against us."
Though Robert Hill only sat Bellingham down in order in the first and fifth innings, he never allowed them to put together multiple hits. He ended up striking out four and walking four.
Bellingham starter Alex Check, meanwhile, seemed to face difficult situations just about every time he turned around.
The Kangaroos loaded the bases against him in the first inning, when he hit the leadoff batter, allowed a single and the Red Raiders failed to cover first base on a sacrifice bunt attempt.
Nick Johnson singled in the first run of the game, before two more scored on wild pitches to put Bellingham in a quick 3-0 hole.
"It's tough when get there with no outs," Farrell said. "Things can happen. Walks can happen, an error, sacrifice fly, wild pitches - lots of things can happen to allow them to score runs. You put them on with no outs, and things happened."
Check again faced a bases-loaded, no-out situation in the third, but he managed to wiggle out of it with no further damage with a double play and a strikeout.
His offense rewarded him with the Red Raiders' first run of the game, when Austin Shenton led off with a double and scored on Oscar White's sacrifice fly that was misplayed in center field.
But Bellingham couldn't push across any more runs, and Lake Washington again loaded the bases in the bottom of the fourth - this time with one out - and pushed across three more runs to put the game away and end Bellingham's season with a 13-8 record one year after the team advanced to the state regionals.
"It's disappointing right now because of where we're at," Farrell said. "Once we get off the field, we can take a step back and see what we accomplished this year as team, to be in the top four in this league - I firmly believe this is one of the toughest leagues in the state - to get into districts this year, I'm pleased."
Bellingham lists five seniors on its district roster, including Check, leadoff batter Aaron Burke, pitcher Matt Richard and catcher Connor Phelps.
"When I took over they were sophomores," Farrell said. "They played in district and got their first district win in a long time. Then last year we go to regionals. They've been able to accomplish some great things here."
Reach David Rasbach at firstname.lastname@example.org or 360-715-2286.
LAKE WASHINGTON 6, BELLINGHAM 1
Bellingham 000 100 0 ? 1 2 1
Lake Washington 300 300 x ? 6 6 2
WP: Robert Hill. LP: Alex Check. Highlights: Bellingham: Austin Shenton 1-2, 2B, R; Charlie Carmichael 1-3.