ANACORTES - Few teams have been able to stymie Squalicum's hot-hitting offense this spring, but Lake Washington senior left-handed pitcher John Lyon sure found a way.
Lyon wasn't overpowering - Storm coach John Inge estimated he threw in the high 70s, low 80s. He didn't have a big breaking ball. But he located his spots, held Squalicum to three hits and helped hand the Storm a 4-0 loss during the opening round of the Class 2A Bi-District Tournament on Saturday afternoon, May 10, at Volunteer Park in Anacortes.
The loss marked the only time the Storm has been shutout, and suddenly Squalicum's bats have gone cold after scoring only two runs during its regular-season finale against Anacortes.
"We faced as good of pitcher as we've faced all year," Storm coach John Inge said, "and I don't think we had enough quality at-bats to beat a guy like that. He knows how to pitch, and I don't think we made adjustments quick enough."
Squalicum will now face city-rival Sehome in a loser-out game at 2 p.m. Tuesday, May 13, at Daniels Field in Anacortes.
Lyon went the distance, striking out four and walking one. Squalicum's hits came in the second, sixth and seventh with Kyle Little, Tim Lann and Ben Tripp each recording singles.
At one point, Lyon retired 10 straight Squalicum hitters spanning from the end of the second inning to the beginning of the sixth.
The Storm never advanced a runner to third base, and its best scoring opportunity came in the sixth inning after Tripp led off with a single and was advanced to second following a Carter Nickelson line-drive out and a Landon Tripp walk.
Unfortunately, trailing 4-0, Ernie Yake hit a hard liner right at Lake Washington shortstop Jordan Lafave, who stepped on second to double off Ben Tripp.
"Gosh, in the sixth, we have runners at second and first," Inge said. "If that line drive is a little higher, it's 4-1. We have runners at first and third with the meat of our order coming up."
Storm starting pitcher Christian Jorgensen took the loss, but Inge felt he threw good enough to earn a win. The junior right-hander gave up four runs, two earned, over 4 1-3 innings with two strikeouts and four walks.
He got into a bases-loaded, no-out mess in the second inning, but got out of the jam only giving up two runs.
"Our pitchers, I thought, did a great job," Inge said. "I thought Christian was really solid, had as good of stuff as he's had all year. We didn't play our best defense. We've had nine games where we haven't made an error."
Squalicum committed three Saturday, although one could have easily been counted as a hit.
Lake Washington took its 2-0 lead into the fifth and added two more runs thanks to a pair of base hits and a throwing error.
Inge reiterated to his team not to get down after the loss.
"We told them we earned this," said the Squalicum coach. "We deserve to be here, and don't be down after that. We got another game. Let's take advantage of another chance of something Squalicum teams haven't been able to do in 12 years or so. We get another chance. That's awesome, and let's make the most of it."
Reach Andrew Lang at email@example.com or call 360-756-2862. Follow @bhamsports on Twitter for Whatcom County sports updates.
LAKE WASHINGTON 4, SQUALICUM 0
Lake Washington 003 050 0 - 4 7 1
Squalicum 000 000 0 - 0 3 3
WP: John Lyon. LP: Christian Jorgensen. Highlights: Sq - Kyle Little 1-3; Tim Lann 1-3; Ben Tripp 1-2.
Reach ANDREW LANG at firstname.lastname@example.org or call ext. 862.