After a 2016 season that ended without a berth in district tournament play, the Mountlake Terrace Hawks didn’t want the opportunity to play an extended postseason this year to get away.
The Hawks made the most of their chance on Tuesday, winning a loser-out first round contest in the 2017 District 1/2 2A Baseball Tournament and setting themselves up for at least two more postseason games this year.
Terrace defeated the no. 11 tournament seed Cedarcrest Red Wolves 4-1 at Mountlake Terrace High School on Tuesday and will next travel to Anacortes on Saturday, May 6, to face the no. 3-seeded Anacortes Seahawks to begin the double-elimination portion of the district tourney.
Win or lose on Saturday, the Hawks (the district tourney’s no.6 seed) will play another district tournament game on Tuesday, May 9, in Anacortes against either the Lynden Lions or the Sehome Mariners.
Terrace senior Jared Maxfield, normally low-key with his emotions, couldn’t help but smile after not only playing in his first postseason game since 2015 on Tuesday, but getting a victory in the loser-out tilt.
“It felt great. Last year we weren’t even able to make it this far, so just being able to get here was awesome. And to get past it is even better,” Maxfield said.
The big right-hander pitched a complete game three-hitter with seven strikeouts and just one walk to earn the win. Utilizing a sizzling fastball to set up on off-speed breaking ball, Maxfield was able to keep the Red Wolves batters off-balanced, especially as the game progressed.
“I’m been working on it all during the off-season and I like the result,” Maxfield said of his overpowering heater.
“He has a lot of confidence in his fastball and he uses that a lot,” noted Terrace Coach Andrew Watters of Maxfield, the team’s number one pitcher on staff.
“That was a senior performance from a player that has been really good for our program,” Watters added. “He’s been good all year, good for his whole career. He wanted that; he wanted to complete that game and he got it. So kudos to him.”
Maxfield’s pitching performance was helped by a full team-defensive effort that included picking off two Cedarcrest baserunners who had been taking too big of leads off of first base. In the second inning, the Red Wolves’ Jared Pletcher was caught too far off the bag and was tagged out by first baseman Carson Dallas after a toss over from Maxfield.
Then in the fourth inning, the Hawks’ catcher Dan Bingaman threw a dart to Dallas, who in turned applied a tag on Cedarcrest’s Josh Goodrich to end the inning.
The Hawks were only able to muster four hits off the Red Wolves’ starter Aaron Davenport, but made them count – with some help by Cedarcrest miscues.
Terrace scored two runs in the third inning, the first off an RBI double deep to centerfield by Bingaman, and the second after a throw by Davenport to first base got past the Red Wolves’ Kyle Lupo and Terrace’s Andrew Younglove scored from third base.
“I’m especially proud of the bottom of our lineup today because they got things going,” Watters said, referring to his squad’s at-bats in the third inning. “Jonathan Kumai getting the big hit to lead things off – (that) really set a charge in (us). Dan Bingaman with the big hit – I’m really proud of Dan. He’s been working really hard and for him to get a pitch to handle and drive it like he did. And to bring us back, because we were down 1-0 at the time. So that was just huge.”
The Hawks’ picked up two more runs in the fourth inning, again aided by Red Wolves’ blunders.
Tanner Boe walked to begin the inning, moved to second on another errant throw to first by Davenport and then to third on a passed ball. Tyson Kim, Terrace’s no.9 hitter, walked, then forced another Cedarcrest gaffe that led directly to the first run of the frame – Kim took off for second before Davenport started his windup for a pitch to Adam Lorraine, forcing the hurler to step off the rubber illegally that was quickly called a balk by the umpiring crew. Kim was awarded second base and Boe was allowed to score from third.
“That was a called play,” Watters explained of Kim’s sudden steal attempt of second base. “We were looking for something like that. There was two outs and we were just looking for a way to get one more run in there. We weren’t necessarily looking for the balk, but we were looking to kind of create some chaos, and it worked.”
Lorraine followed-up the balk play with a sharp single up the middle, scoring Kim from second.
That would be all the runs Maxfield would need to secure a Terrace victory. The senior pitched a perfect fifth, sixth and seventh innings, retiring all nine Cedarcrest batters to end the game.
The Hawks will now prepare for what looks to be a much-tougher stretch of tourney baseball. The top four seeds in the tournament (Archbishop Murphy, Lynden, Anacortes and Blaine) are all ranked in the top ten of the Washington Baseball Poll 2A state rankings; only the top three teams that emerge from the district tournament will move on to the WIAA 2A State Baseball Tournament later this month.
Maxfield believes his Terrace teammates are up for the challenge. “This is a real hearty team,” he said. “(We’re) a bunch of tough boys, so we’re ready for anything we have thrown at us.”
To view the entire 2017 District 1/2 2A Baseball Tournament bracket, click http://www.wescoathletics.com/tournament.php?tournament_id=1960&sport=6.
In other Mountlake Terrace sports results on Tuesday, the Hawk girls’ tennis team closed out a winless regular season with a 7-0 loss to the Shorecrest Scots at Kellogg Middle School in Shoreline.
Terrace will close out their year at the Sub-District 1/2 2A Girls Tennis Tournament in Granite Falls on Saturday, May 6. First matches at Granite Falls High School are scheduled to begin at 10 a.m.
Prep Baseball: Cedarcrest at Mountlake Terrace, May 2 (District 1/2 2A Baseball Tournament first round loser-out game)
Cedarcrest 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 – 1 3 3
Terrace 0 0 2 2 0 0 x – 4 4 0
Winning pitcher: Jared Maxfield (Mountlake Terrace)
Losing pitcher: Aaron Davenport (Cedarcrest)
Records: Mountlake Terrace 11-10 overall; Cedarcrest 6-15
Mountlake Terrace next game: versus Anacortes, Saturday, May 6, 12 noon at Volunteer Park in Anacortes
Prep Girls Tennis: Mountlake Terrace at Shorecrest, May 2
Shorecrest 7 – Mountlake Terrace 0
Records: Mountlake Terrace 0-10 in 2A/3A Wesco League South Conference, 0-15 overall; Shorecrest 6-4 in 2A/3A Wesco League South Conference, 9-5 overall
Mountlake Terrace next match: Sub-District 1/2 2A Girls Tennis Tournament, Saturday, May 6, 10 a.m. at Granite Falls High School
–By Doug Petrowski