ANACORTES - A common thread throughout Sehome's season has been its inability to both produce runs and frequently capitalize with runners in scoring position.
The Mariners' weakness showed up again against Archbishop Murphy during the opening round of the Class 2A Bi-District Tournament.
Sehome grounded into four double plays, missed a crucial late-inning squeeze-bunt attempt and couldn't provide enough support for Jake Albert's strong outing as the Mariners fell 2-1 to the Wildcats on Saturday afternoon, May 10, at Daniels Field in Anacortes.
"All of them were huge," said Sehome coach Gary Hatch of the double plays. "All it does is give them more spirit and more energy. We keep harping this thing of getting the ball into the outfield, but we are learning if you don't do that, you pay for it, and that's what happened today."
A first-inning 5-4-3 double play nixed an early rally, a second-inning 1-6-3 double play ended a threat of runners at first and third with one out, a fifth-inning twin killer came with the bases loaded and seemingly appropriately enough a 4-3 double play ended the game in the seventh.
"You can't leave runners on base," said Sehome third baseman Drew Lomsdalen, who went 3 for 3 and had the Mariners' only RBI. "You have to execute, find a hole, do the little things we have been working on all year. It just comes down to executing at the end of the day."
The loss sends Sehome to a loser-out game against Squalicum, which will take place at 2 p.m. Tuesday, May 13, at Daniels Field.
Archbishop Murphy pitcher Ryan Dorney earned the win, throwing a complete game with one strikeout and four walks. Albert took the loss, his second of the year, but only gave up four hits, struck out one and walked one.
Albert, who leads Whatcom County Northwest Conference starters in ERA, kept the Wildcats off-balance most of the game and was backed by a strong defensive performance, but Archbishop Murphy strung a pair of hits together in the bottom of the fifth, which proved to be the difference in the game.
"I thought Albert pitched a tremendous game," Hatch said. "He always comes out and pitches his heart out. His breaking ball was good. They were swinging through a couple pitches. He did a great job, and I was proud with how Owen (Wright) called the game."
Lomsdalen and Josh Zavisubin, who combined for five of Sehome's seven hits, gave the Mariners a 1-0 first-inning lead. Zavisubin struck a double into the right-centerfield gap, and his hit was followed by a Lomsdalen RBI single down the right-field line.
Albert and Sehome's defense held Archbishop Murphy scoreless until the fifth when the Wildcats put two runs on the board with a walk followed by an RBI double by Wildcats first baseman Evan Haugen and an RBI single from third baseman Houston Smutz. Sehome could have kept the game tied at 1-all on Smutz's single, but an errant relay throw allowed Haugen to score. An on-target throw would have made for an easy tag at the plate.
"We have to scrub it, and we got to show up and again and play our good old buddies from across the street in Squalicum," Hatch said. "They're going to have their No. 1 guy, and we'll send Zavi up there to pitch Tuesday. ... It'll come down to execution and playing catch."
Reach Andrew Lang at email@example.com or call 360-756-2862. Follow @bhamsports on Twitter for Whatcom County sports updates.
ARCHBISHOP MURPHY 2, SEHOME 1
Sehome 100 000 0 - 0 7 0
Archbishop Murphy 000 020 x - 2 4 3
WP: Ryan Dorney. LP: Jake Albert. Highlights: SEH - Drew Lomsdalen 3-3, RBI; Josh Zavisubin 2-3, 2B, R; Owen Wright 1-3; Felix Zavisubin 1-2.
Reach ANDREW LANG at firstname.lastname@example.org or call ext. 862.