This night would be best remembered, however, by the overall play of Falcon shortstop Caleb Hamilton.
Batting in the leadoff spot, his numbers may seem pedestrian — 1 for 2 with 1 run scored. But in his four official at-bats, he reached base safely all four times.
And in the field, the senior’s dynamic presence was felt throughout the game, with special plays like the one he made in the top of the first.
With the game underway, Inglemoor threatened to draw first blood — but it never got that far.
With two runners aboard, the Vikings’ Brandon Edwards hit a chopper over the mound that spelled trouble. But Hamilton broke to his left to spear the ball, tag an incoming runner headed toward second, before pirouetting and firing to first for the electric double play.
Overall for the night, Hamilton would record six assists and two put-outs, with flawless play in the field at shortstop.
Offensively, Woodinville jumped out early in the bottom of the first. Falcon first sacker Davis Ballie smashed a bases loaded double to drive in two runs. A couple batters later, pitcher Stephan White lined a two-run single, to help bolster himself to a healthy lead.
After surrendering two runs in the top of the second, White settled into a groove and held the visiting Vikes scoreless through the sixth inning. He left the game having pitched six innings and giving up one earned run on three hits. He walked three and struck out two.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Falcons got an insurance run when right fielder Derek Svanevik grounded into a fielder’s choice to score White. This upped the Woodinville lead to 5-2.
In the top of the seventh, Eric Anthony entered for the Falcons in relief in an attempt to close things out. He faltered momentarily as the Vikings rapped two hits and pushed across a run.
But with the score now at 5-3, and slight unease rising amid the home crowd, Anthony bore down.
With one runner aboard and two outs, Anthony twirled in a sidearm curveball at which the final Inglemoor hitter flailed away for strike three. Game over.
Woodinville’s victory improved their record to 12-7 and ensured them a spot in the playoffs, which began May 4th (See page 1).
Hamilton, a senior shortstop, finished the regular season with a robust .440 batting average and .547 on-base percentage.
“The guys really stepped up tonight,” he said afterwards. “We’ve been kind of average, but we really stepped it up and separated ourselves from Inglemoor.”
With his Woodinville career coming to a close, Hamilton will be playing for the Washington Huskies next season.
He was asked to reflect on his prep years. “It was a good career,” he said. “The coaches helped me to become a man. I was a little immature going into my sophomore year and the coaches helped me with that.”