After suffering a tough extra-inning loss to the Mountlake Terrace Hawks on Tuesday, the Edmonds-Woodway Warriors were anxious to get back to game action.
“Today we just wanted to win because yesterday they came into our house and beat us,” said E-W senior Julian Kodama on Wednesday. “We all wanted to win today.”
The motivated Warriors got a strong mound performance from Kodama and some clutch big hits from Sal Alvarado and Ian Michael to avenge their Tuesday loss and defeat the Hawks 5-4 in a Wesco League tilt played at Mountlake Terrace High School.
Kodama pitched six-and-a-third innings, gave up just one earned run on two hits and struck out 10 Hawks to earn the win for Edmonds-Woodway. The Warriors’ Gunnar Whitelaw relieved Kodama with one out and two Hawks on base in the seventh inning and did just enough to earn the save.
“I was feeling so good,” Kodama said after the game. “My arm’s been hurting this season but today something clicked.”
Kodama had seen limited action on the mound before Wednesday’s contest, but lasted just two pitches short of the rule-mandated pitch limit placed on high school hurlers for this season.
“I don’t know what happened today; I was just excited to play,” Kodama added.
Mountlake Terrace Coach Andrew Watters acknowledged that Kodama was a handful for his squad on Wednesday.
“Their starter was excellent,” Watters said. “He threw hard and we didn’t adjust very well or get to him. So yeah, tip your hat to him. He was overpowering today and did a good job.”
Despite Kodama’s dominating pitching performance, a throwing error by the senior opened the door for Terrace to jump out to a 3-0 lead after four innings.
After Kendall Yackley singled to open the Terrace half of the fourth, Tyson Kim laid down a bunt that Kodama fielded but threw into center field in an attempt to force Yackley out at second base. Yackley and Kim scored on a Dan Bingaman single through a pulled-in Warrior infield; subsequently, Bret Serres – running for Bingaman – scored after a wild pitch and an error to give the Hawks the three-run advantage.
But the Warriors answered with a run without the benefit of a hit in the fifth inning, then a big four-run sixth inning to take a lead they would not relinquish.
After hits by Kodama and Chad Curtis to lead off the sixth, Alvarado belted a two-run triple deep to the right field foul pole to tie the game at 3-3. Matthew Johnson came in to relieve Terrace starting pitcher Tanner Boe and gave up an RBI triple down the left field line to Michael.
The Warriors added a run scored on a fielder’s choice to build their 5-3 lead midway through the sixth inning.
Before Boe was pulled in the sixth inning, the senior had given up just five hits and struck out six Warriors. “He pitched well enough to win today,” Watters commented.
“It’s too bad – I think he ran out of gas a little bit and they got to him in the very end. But I’ll take that outing from Tanner everytime because that was a great outing by him,” Watters added.
Down 5-3, the Hawks still weren’t ready to give up as the squad loaded the bases in the bottom of the seventh inning via two hit batsman and a walk. Terrace cut the E-W lead to 5-4 when Kim walked, bringing in Max Coleman, but couldn’t knock in the tying run as Boe was retired on a fly ball to right field to end the game.
“We had our chances,” Watters concluded. “That seventh inning, I’m proud of our guys; we found ways to get on base and found a way to make it a one-run game and to have one of our best hitters up there at the end. So we’ll take that and take our chances with that.”
With the Warriors’ win on Wednesday, the two teams split their two-game series this week.
Both E-W and Terrace will host Wesco League North Conference opponents on Friday, April 6; the Warriors will welcome Stanwood to Edmonds-Woodway High School while Snohomish will travel to Mountlake Terrace High School.
Prep Baseball: Edmonds-Woodway at Mountlake Terrace, April 4
Edmonds-Woodway 0 0 0 0 1 4 0 — 5 8 1
Mountlake Terrace 0 0 0 3 0 0 1 — 4 2 1
Winning pitcher: Julian Kodama (Edmonds-Woodway)
Losing pitcher: Tanner Boe (Mountlake Terrace)
Records: Edmonds-Woodway 3-2 in 2A/3A Wesco League South Conference, 4-4 overall; Mountlake Terrace 5-2 in 2A/3A Wesco League South Conference, 7-3 overall
Edmonds-Woodway next game: versus Stanwood, Friday, April 6, 4 p.m. at Edmonds-Woodway High School
Mountlake Terrace next game: versus Snohomish, Friday, April 6, 4 p.m. at Mountlake Terrace High School
–By Doug Petrowski