ANACORTES - As fast as the Lynden Lions captured the game's momentum, Anacortes stole it right back.
Lynden broke through against Seahawks standout pitcher Andrew Medalia with a clutch two-RBI single from Dalton Ohligschlager in the fourth, but a half inning later the Lions found themselves starring at an overwhelming deficit.
Lions starter Lucas Petersen got into big trouble against a hard-hitting Anacortes club, and the Seahawks made Lynden pay, blowing the game open with a five-run bottom of the fourth as the Lions suffered a 7-2 Class 2A Bi-District Tournament semifinal loss Tuesday evening, May 13, at Volunteer Park in Anacortes.
"We answered the bell and got those two runs," Lynden coach Cory White said, "but they capitalized right back. ... They cashed in on it, and that's what good teams do: They capitalize on mistakes that you make."
Lynden (14-8) could have solidified a state berth with a win, but now the Lions will play a winner-to-state, loser-out game against conference opponent Squalicum at 11 a.m. Saturday, May 17, at Daniels Field.
The loss was only Lynden's second in its past 12 games. It was the second time the Lions have fallen to Anacortes this spring and both times Medalia the culprit.
The Seahawks ace allowed only four hits and two runs over seven innings. He only struck out two but induced a number of fly-ball outs.
Following a botched pickle play that allowed Anacortes to score a run in the first and an RBI single in the third, Lynden found itself trailing 2-0 until Jordan Wittenberg and Christian Mouat helped set the table for Ohligschlager's momentum-shifting, two-RBI single through the right side of the infield.
"I think we hit him pretty well in a sense," said White of his team's hitting against Medalia. "We didn't get many runs on the scoreboard, but we only struck out twice that I recall. I thought we hit the ball hard, and some of their kids made good plays."
But just as Lynden crept back into the game, Anacortes took control back thanks in large part to a Ty Johnson bases-loaded, base-clearing triple.
Petersen had yielded four hits through the first three innings, but Anacortes began finding holes in Lynden's defense. After a single and a fly out, Petersen gave up a walk and a single to load the bases before hitting a batter to give Anacortes a 3-2 lead.
Seahawks third baseman Jared Douglas followed with an RBI single before Johnson completely deflated the Lions with one deep drive to the right-center field gap. The three-RBI triple pushed Anacortes' lead to 7-2, prompting a pitching change from Petersen to Christian Mouat.
"The thing that got him in trouble a little bit, was I think the first three innings we got the leadoff guy on," White said, "and that puts pressure on the defense. They were able to put pressure on us, get him in the stretch right away. But they are a good-hitting club. They are solid."
Petersen completed 3 1-3 innings, gave up seven earned runs on eight hits and walked four batters.
Mouat pitched strong in relief, giving up no hits in two innings of work. But the Lions couldn't generate any offense to get back into the game.
Lynden didn't record a hit in the final three innings, and a seventh-inning walk served as the Lions' only baserunner during the span.
"We got beat by a team that I think is better than us right now," White said. "We did some things that hurt us tonight, but I don't want to take anything away from what they did. Medalia did a great job."
Besides Ohligschlager's hit, Wittenberg finished 1 for 4 at the plate with a run scored, Kody Ames finished 1 for 3 and Anthony Garcia was 1 for 2.
While White admitted his club is never happy losing, he said his team is excited to play Squalicum for a shot to reach the state tournament.
"Are we disappointed? Without a doubt," he said, "but we still have a chance to play for state. We get two chances to accomplish one goal, so we'll still take that."
Reach Andrew Lang at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 360-756-2862. Follow @bhamsports on Twitter for Whatcom County sports updates.
ANACORTES 7, LYNDEN 2
Lynden 000 200 0 - 2 4 0
Anacortes 101 500 x - 7 8 0
WP: Andrew Medalia. LP: Lucas Petersen. Highlights: Lyn - Jordan Wittenberg 1-4, R; Dalton Ohligschlager 1-2, 2 RBI, BB; Kody Ames 1-3; Anthony Garcia 1-2. Ana - Ty Johnson 1-3, 3B, 3 RBI; Ryan Campbell 2-3, BB, 3 R. Jared Douglas 2-3, 2 RBI, R.
Reach ANDREW LANG at email@example.com or call ext. 862.