After initially losing its first two games of the season against Bothell, the Woodinville High School baseball team finished the year with a 5-3 victory during the district championship at Bothell High School on Thursday, June 10.
“It was a really, really close game,” head coach Alan Dillman said in an interview. “It was well-played on both sides. But we were able to hang on and get the win.”
WHS scored early in the game, but Bothell came back and scored in the second and third innings. Woodinville added another three runs to take the lead in the fifth inning, and then tacked on an additional insurance run in the seventh inning.
Senior Mac McCain recorded three RBIs during the final game. Senior Connor Beatty and Junior Chris Woodside each batted in one run as well. Junior Gage Bruce scored two of the runs and also stole two bases.
Senior Caden McCann pitched two innings and allowed one earned run, according to statistics from the game. Sophomore Ethan Unrun threw for another two innings, striking out three hitters and allowing two earned runs. Senior Evan Cariello closed out the game with three more innings and no runs scored.
Dillman said the season was different this year with teams playing a single game on Tuesdays and then a doubleheader on Fridays. The boys adapted well to playing with masks and taking rapid COVID tests, he said. It was rough at times with all the changes, he added, but the team was just excited to compete.
“The season wasn't normal by any standards, but they made the best of it and we had a lot of fun," he said. “We started off a little bit slow, and it took us a little bit to get going.”
He said WHS had a pretty large turnover of athletes from last year. Nine seniors graduated in 2020 he noted, and another six seniors will be leaving this year.
Rather than being dominated by one class, Dillman said, there was more depth to the lineup and younger players got a chance to start. Although the season had a tough beginning, he said, the team ended up winning the last five games.
“I think they all learned not to take things for granted after having last year wiped away,” Dillman said of his team. “I couldn't have asked for a group to tackle those obstacles any better than what these guys did.”
Throughout the 10-game season, Beatty recorded nine hits, four runs and eights RBIs. Bruce contributed 10 hits, 13 runs and six RBIs. And McCain added eight hits, seven runs and 10 RBIs. Freshman Tyler Jones also tacked on 12 hits, four RBIs and seven runs.
McCann pitched 18 innings in the season, allowing a total of 18 hits and 12 total runs. The lefthander logged six strikeouts in five games.
Unrun, who collectively pitched for about nine innings, recorded nine strikeouts throughout four games. Cariello finished his last season without giving up any walks after pitching in about four games as well.