Falcons crush Emerald Ridge, but season ends with loss to South Kitsap

  • Written by Derek Johnson

Lee Wunderlich 5Photo by Patti Sternberg . Woodinville’s Lee Wunderlich connects on one of his 3 doubles during a 14-0 win over Emerald Ridge. The junior catcher had 5 RBIs. The final day of the Falcon season proved to be the epitome of feast or famine. In the first game vs. Emerald Ridge, Woodinville unleashed a scoring barrage that resulted in a 14-0 win. But in the nightcap, the offense withered and the Falcons fell to South Kitsap 4-1. And just like that, on May 18th at Art Wright Field in Kent, the season was over. Woodinville finished at 16-7. Heading into this day, Woodinville needed two wins to propel them to Pasco and entry into the State Tourney’s Final 4. But it wasn’t meant to be.

The first game proved to be the zenith of Woodinville’s season. It was as if the Falcon players were channeling the 1927 Yankees. They scored 4 runs in the first inning, 5 in the second, 2 in the third and 3 more in the fourth. They weren’t just hitting the ball, but crushing it. Catcher Lee Wunderlich led the way, going 4-for-4 with 3 doubles and 5 RBIs. Drew Accimus had 3 hits and 2 RBIs. Connor Brueske had 3 hits and drove in a run. And Derek Svenvik ripped a ringing triple to the wall in right center field to drive in yet another run.

After Emerald Ridge failed to score in the top of the 5th, the game was called due to "Mercy Rule." Woodinville pitcher Stephan White shone with another banner performance. He allowed only 2 hits while striking out 2. He acknowledged afterwards that his curveball has never been better.

"Toward the end of the season I found it," White said. "It’s absolutely the best I’ve ever thrown it. If I can get it over for a strike, I’ll throw it on the first pitch or even on the second pitch to some big hitters, or even kids lower in the lineup, to establish that I have it. And then blow the fastball on by them."

The win advanced Woodinville into a game later that day against South Kitsap for the right to go to Pasco.

South Kitsap jumped out to a 2-0 lead off Woodinville’s Caleb Hamilton. When the Falcons came up to bat in the bottom of the first against Wolves pitcher Michael Wood, things went south offensively.

Woodinville got its only run of the game in the second inning when Tommy Wick lined a single to score Drew Accimus. But South Kitsap tacked on a run in the third and another in the fourth. Woodinville manager Terry Agnew pulled Hamilton and brought in reliever Eric Anthony from the bullpen.

Anthony stopped the bleeding and kept Woodinville within shouting distance. But heading into the bottom of the seventh, the Falcons still trailed 4-1 and hope was running on fumes.

The Falcons desperately needed 3 runs. But then Mathew Spencer struck out swinging. Trevor Cook struck out looking at a called third strike. And that left it to Caleb Hamilton, the KingCo Player of the Year who will be playing for the University of Washington this fall.

For the final time in his prep career, Hamilton walked up to the plate, paused for maybe an extra moment, then got into his stance. A pitch was delivered and he swung and hit a fly ball. And then the game — and Woodinville’s season — quietly expired in the left fielder’s glove.

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