Mick Vorhof pitched a 4-hitter and struck out the final five batters of the game, to carry Eastlake to the KingCo 4A title with a 3-1 win over Woodinville last Thursday night.
Both teams will advance to play in the State tourney, with games starting May 24. For Woodinville, the loss snapped a 7-game winning streak, and rendered their overall record at 14-7.
As smiling Eastlake players celebrated the win and posed for team photos with the trophy, Woodinville manager Alan Dillman was quick to tip his cap.
“Vorhof is one of the best in the league,” Dillman said. “He’s done it all year long. We knew that coming in and accepted the challenge. He was real good tonight. He made pitches when he really needed to. When we got guys in scoring position he just got tougher.”
Meanwhile, Woodinville starter Alex Worthington hit a rough patch early on, when Eastlake loaded the bases with only one out. But Worthington enticed Max Escarda to bounce into a double play, which ended the inning.
But in the second, the Wolves got two runs, before Worthington settled into a groove.
“Alex battled for us and gave us opportunity,” Dillman said. “We knew coming in that runs would be scarce against them. So I was proud of our guys for the way they battled at the plate. Alex did a good job and got tough at times too when things got rough, which was good.
“You know, the other thing is that [Eastlake] also played great defense behind him tonight,” Dillman said. “We put the ball in play and they were there to make plays, and that was huge. They did a great job.”
With no games scheduled until Saturday’s first round of the State tourney, the Falcons will have time to rest and reflect. As of this writing, their opponent has yet to be determined.
“Our message after the game was that all this does is reset things for us,” Dillman said. “We know we can do it and we know that we’ve got a good team here. It just gives us an opportunity to stay hungry and regroup. Like we’ve told these guys all year, when things don’t go well or we lose, we need to come back the next day and work harder.”
Woodinville left fielder Chris Okura, who went 2-for-3 with two stolen bases, was asked to gauge his team’s mindset.
“We’re just looking to bounce back,” Okura said. “We’re confident and heading into State we can do big things. We’re just looking to turn it around and bounce back from this loss.”