Sehome was hoping Tuesday’s Class 2A District Tournament semifinal against Anacortes would produce a state berth and a district title shot.
The Mariners also anticipated finally getting the best of Seahawks left-handed pitcher Joe Brennan.
In fact, the aggressive, attacking offensive style Sehome played with during its opening-round win against Cedarcrest was completely absent.
It’s not that Mariners coach Gary Hatch didn’t want to use the same strategy in the semifinals against Anacortes. Brennan just never gave the Mariners a chance to get anything going.
“He was right on it today,” said Hatch of the Seahawks junior starter who threw a complete game, limiting the Mariners to three hits. “We’ve seen him three times this year, and he’s gotten better each time. Tonight was his best outing I thought that he’s had.”
Sehome struggled at the plate throughout, and Anacortes strung together a slew of extra-base hits off Mariners starter Felix Zavisubin in the sixth, as Sehome suffered a 5-0 district tournament loss May 13, at Daniels Field in Anacortes.
The loss sends Sehome (14-8) to a winner-to-state, loser-out game against city-rival Squalicum at noon Saturday, May 16, at Volunteer Park.
Besides catcher Owen Wright, who finished the game 2 for 2 with a walk, the Mariners never could solve Brennan, who struck out eight and pitched four over the minimum Not once did Sehome advance a runner to second base.
“He works fast,” Hatch said of Brennan, “and we kept telling our guys, ‘Step out, take some time, slow him down,’ but we didn’t, and I think we were just a little bit tight, which plays right into his hands.”
Tyler Hruby, logged the Mariners’ only other hit, a hard-hit, second-inning grounder that took a bad hop before deflecting off the face of Anacortes shortstop Jay Kiesser.
Zavisubin gave up 10 hits in 5 1/3 innings of work, but he left a few pitches in the middle of the plate, and Anacortes’ veteran hitters made him pay.
Third baseman Eli Gallo led off the bottom of the second with a first-pitch home run over the left-field wall, giving the Seahawks a 1-0 lead. Zavisubin then hit Ty Johnson before giving up a single and a walk to load the bases.
Zavisubin escaped the no-out jam giving up only one more run, and the Sehome sophomore threw three straight scoreless innings before Anacortes logged four extra-base hits in the sixth to pull away.
Kiesser drove in Matt Irving with an RBI double and Mark Luciano followed with an RBI triple into the right-center field gap, pushing the Seahawks’ lead to 4-0. Joe D’Amelio then hit a double of his own to put Anacortes in front 5-0.
The Mariners were quickly dispatched in the seventh, as Brennan got Kealohi Grondin to ground out before striking out Hruby and Cameron Tipton to end the game.
“We got to just recover, regroup and be ready to go,” Hatch said. “We still got a good shot at this thing, so we got to play.”
Anacortes 5, Sehome 0