The Skyline Spartans pounded out 9 runs on 13 hits, scoring runs in four consecutive innings, to defeat the Woodinville Falcons 9-3 last Friday night at Woodinville High School. It was the KingCo conference opener for both teams.
Woodinville pitcher Connor White started out strong with two shutout innings, before running into trouble in the top of the third.
“I think that [Skyline] had seen enough pitches and they got into a bit of a groove and a little bit of a rhythm,” Woodinville coach Alan Dillman said. “Connor kept throwing strikes and they were hitting them. It happens.”
In this early part of the season, the Falcons (2-3, 0-1) have demonstrated that whether they’re ahead or behind, they’re committed to playing small ball.
“This team is built a lot different from last year,” Dillman said. “I think we’re a little bit faster than last year, and we’re not quite as big. So it’s going to be a big part of our game to get guys on [base] and put guys in motion and keep pressure on the defenses.”
Indeed, Woodinville’s roster bears little resemblance to last year’s club that finished fourth in State.
“I think that we have a lot of new guys in key spots,” Dillman said. “We graduated pretty much the entire outfield last year, as well as our shortstop and catcher. We’ve got a lot of different guys in different places. But those guys are getting better, so I’m happy with that. And we’re starting to gel a little more as a team. The one thing we did in non-league games was that we fought back late in games. It was good to see that. They’re going to keep fighting in games, so I like that about them. We just need to keep at it and keep getting better.”
One big plus will be the imminent return of ace pitcher Alex Worthington, who suffered a concussion recently in practice.
“He should hopefully be back late [this] week,” Dillman said. “Davis [Baillie] will have to step up and throw. He pitched some his sophomore year, and he’ll help us this year. And Liam [Herlihy] has thrown the back end of games, and we’re going to throw him some more. We’ve just got to get out there and compete, and keep playing with that lineup until we find the right one.”