Bothell junior catcher Sammy Lee homered, doubled and singled but it was senior Zach Anderson who brought home the winning run with a booming two-out, eighth-inning double off the left-center field fence as the Cougars defeated the Inglemoor Vikings 4-3 in a dandy of a chilly ball game last Monday at Bothell.
Anderson’s blast off Viking reliever Lucas Wimmer looked like a sure thing to leave the yard for a walkoff homer, but was beaten down by the cold and damp night air — and no doubt the reduced juice in the newly required BBCore bats.
So it was a walkoff double, after the defending state champion Cougars had dropped five straight ball games.
“Fastball, right in my happy zone,” the big burly first baseman said with an ear-to-ear grin after Bothell celebrated its first win of the season.
“If I’m using a TPX, that thing lands out there in the pond.”
Anderson doubled in his first at bat and scored to tie the KingCo rivalry game at 1-1 in the second inning.
With two outs and a man on in the third, Lee launched the first pitch he saw from Inglemoor starter Danny Larson deep down the left-field line for a two-run job to make it 3-1.
The Vikings pushed two runs across — two singles and three walks — to notch it at 3-apiece in the sixth, and it could’ve been worse: With two outs and the bags loaded Blake Wilson laced a hard ground ball up the middle looking to deliver more damage. But Bothell sophomore second-baseman Kellen Webster laid out for a backhand dive and grab, and flipped it to shortstop Mark Woods for a critical force out to stem the tide at 3-3.
If that ball gets through it’s likely a 5-3 Inglemoor lead and a different ball game.
Wimmer pitched a perfect sixth and seventh innings and the Vikes threatened in the eighth, placing runners on second and third with one out. But Cougar reliever Camden McLeod fanned the next batter and, after an intentional walk to load the bags to create a force, got the ground ball he needed.
Wimmer, who was dealing, got the leadoff batter in the eighth before Lee ripped a long one-out single to right in the bottom of the eighth.
One out later Anderson delivered the goods for the home team.
“We got some great pitching from our guys, hung in there and found a way,” Bothell coach Paul Moody said. “After five straight losses — which hasn’t happened around here for a while — I was happy for the kids ... who kept working hard. So that was good to see.”
Starter Brady Mickelson went five strong and struck out nine.
Said Inglemoor coach Bryan McNaghten, who was proud of his pitchers, too: “Their second-baseman made a phenomenal play on that ground ball in the sixth. If that gets through, who knows what would’ve happened. But that’s baseball and they made a couple more plays than we did. It was a great high school ball game and hats off to them.”
Tyler Beahan paced the Vikings with three hits.