On a cold, windy yet beautiful Wednesday night at Bothell High School, the Woodinville Falcons (3-0) varsity baseball team defeated the Bothell Tigers (2-2) 5-2 in their first conference game of the season.
The Falcons controlled the entire game, going up early and never surrendering the lead. Senior pitcher Stephan White had a strong performance for Woodinville, pitching six innings and striking out six batters, while only giving up one run on four hits. He also walked three batters.
“Stephan did a really nice job,” Woodinville head coach Terry Agnew said. “Eric [Anthony] came in and did a nice job in relief.”
Woodinville capitalized on some crucial fielding mistakes made by Bothell. In the top of the third inning, Bothell senior third baseman Camden McLeod picked up a bunt that appeared to be heading foul but instead resulted in an infield single. Bothell would score two runs in the third inning.
In the top of the fifth with two outs, Bothell junior shortstop Kellen Webster made an error on a simple groundball that would have ended the inning. Then McLeod couldn’t make the throw to first on another groundball, resulting in a run for Woodinville.
Along with Bothell’s mistake, Woodinville played well defensively and ran the bases efficiently, stealing five in total.
“Defensively we played really well and I thought we did a very nice job of moving guys along when we had opportunities to score runs,” Agnew said.
The 3-0 start for the Falcons is impressive. The Kingco Athletic Conference has some strong teams this season. Newport High School has started the season 4-0, and Ballard High School has started 4-1.
“In our league everyone is a rival,” Agnew said. “Everybody’s close and they all play together in the summertime so they’re all big games. Everybody’s good. It’s not like anybody’s really bad.”
What’s also impressive is how young Woodinville is. Only eight of the 20 players on their roster are seniors.
“We’re kind of rebuilding,” Agnew said. “We lost 13 seniors last year so we’ve got a lot of new players out there. So it’s just a matter of trying to get our guys’ feet on the ground and getting them comfortable.”
Bothell made the game slightly interesting in the final inning.
Down 5-1, they got two hits on Woodinville senior reliever Eric Anthony that flew past Woodinville senior shortstop Caleb Hamilton, scoring a run to make the score 5-2.
But it just was too little too late for Bothell as Anthony struck out senior pitcher and first baseman Saige Tyndall to end the game.
Woodinville plays its next game Friday against Redmond High School at Woodinville. The first pitch is at 7 p.m. and is a part of a junior varsity/varsity double-header.
(Luke Severn is a student in the University of Washington Department of Communication News Laboratory.)