After a physically and emotionally rough two-game series with rival Meadowdale earlier in the week, the Mountlake Terrace baseball team was forced to travel to Marysville on Thursday to face Marysville-Getchell in a District 1 3A play-in game, with the winner moving on to the District 1 tourney while the loser being done for the 2015 season.
Behind a superb pitching performance by Hawk starter Jesse Prothero and timely hitting all throughout the batting lineup, Mountlake Terrace found the strength to defeat Marysville-Getchell 6-3 to play another day.
With the victory, the Hawks grabbed the final seed into the postseason district tournament; Mountlake Terrace will open the double-elimination tourney against Marysville-Pilchuck on Saturday, May 9, at Marysville-Pilchuck High School; first pitch is set for 1 p.m.
Mountlake Terrace Coach Andrew Watters acknowledged that the performance of Prothero on Thursday was pivotal for his squad at this stage of the season. “Jesse did a great job for us – a complete game for a guy when we already had two games (this week) and our guys were getting tired. So that was huge for Jesse, to step up and finish the game today,” Watters said.
Prothero fought through some erratic pitching early, started changing speeds with his pitches in the middle innings, and then finished strong to earn his first complete game of the year.
“I’m the guy that wants to stick in there and constantly get better as the game goes on,” Prothero said. “I was figuring out the change-up and I finally got that going towards the end of the game. I was throwing fastball and change-up, then by the end I was also throwing in some sliders.”
“This was huge for me; I wanted it so bad,” Prothero added.
While Prothero handled the mound work, the rest of the squad supplied timely hitting against four Charger pitchers to tally their six runs. Sophomore Jared Maxfield went 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI for the Hawks while Zahn Phillips recorded two RBIs with a two-out single in the second inning. Drew Serres added an RBI while going 3-for-3 in the game.
The Hawk offense pounded out 10 hits total, but the defense was inconsistent with six errors in the contest. Watters will use the off-day before tournament play begins on Saturday to try to shore up some defensive issues.
“We’ve got to get better,” Watters said. “So we’re going to use tomorrow (Friday) to get better and hopefully be ready to compete with a really tough opponent.”
For the 10 seniors on the Hawk 2015 roster, qualifying for the postseason was satisfying. “It feels good; for all of our seniors, it feels good,” said senior co-captain Jason Shevenko. “We want to give ourselves a chance in the playoffs and see what happens. You never know what’s going to happen in the playoffs.”
As the No. 8 seed, MountlakeTerrace will have to begin postseason play against the District 1 top-seeded Tomahawks who finished the year 11-4 in league play, 14-6 overall. Win or lose on Saturday, the Hawk’s road won’t get much easier as they will face either 14-6 Lynnwood or 16-4 Ferndale in district play on Tuesday, May 12.
The top three finishers in the District 1 tournament will move on to the WIAA 3A State Baseball Tournament that begins on May 23.
To view the entire 2015 District 1 3A Tournament bracket, click http://www.wescoathletics.com/tournament.php?tournament_id=1523&sport=6.
– By Doug Petrowski
Prep Baseball: Mountlake Terrace at Marysville-Getchell
Mountlake Terrace 0 0 2 2 2 0 0 — 6 10 6
Marysville-Getchell 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 — 3 8 2
Winning pitcher: Jesse Prothero (MTHS)
Losing pitcher: Collin Montez (MGHS)
Records: Mountlake Terrace 10-9 in Wesco 3A, 11-10 overall; Marysville-Gretchell 6-10, 10-11
Mountlake Terrace next game: vs. Marysville-Pilchuck, Saturday, May 9, 1 p.m. at Marysville-Pilchuck High School