Lynnwood Royals’ baseball Coach Fraser Dizard has high expectations this season for his senior catcher Brady Girgus.
“It’s kind of expected of him, being one of the leaders on our team, (to) come up with the big hits and win those games when we need him to,” Dizard said.
Girgus did come through with the big winning hit on Wednesday, smacking a two-out RBI double in the seventh inning to lift the Royals to a 4-3 victory over the Mountlake Terrace Hawks in a Wesco League South Conference matchup played at Mountlake Terrace High School.
The win kept Lynnwood on top of the South Conference standings with a division record of 3-0, 4-1 overall. Terrace dropped to 0-3 in conference play, 1-4 overall.
The Royals have slipped past the Hawks in each of the first two games in a three-game series between the two teams this week. The final game of the series is set for Friday, March 25 at Lynnwood High School.
Girgus’ last-inning game-winning hit on Wednesday came off Mountlake Terrace reliever Trent Brooks. “I was expecting something early (in the count),” Girgus said. “I saw a fast ball and just went with it, and it ended up going pretty deep in the gap.”
Girgus’ bomb to left-center field scored teammate Kyler McMahon easily from second base.
Lynnwood’s Chase Hacker came in to pitch the bottom of the seventh inning and earn the save for the Royals.
“I was really proud of our guys,” Dizard said after the win. “There was a couple of innings where we didn’t score and I thought we should have, we gave a couple runs that I thought that maybe we shouldn’t have given up, but they battled and they hung in there, scored one more run than Terrace and we won. It was a fun game.”
After the Hawks had taken an early 1-0 lead, the Royals got a run in the third inning, helped by three straight walks given up by Terrace starter Carson Dallas.
Pitching consistency has been a struggle for the Hawks early in the 2016 season, Coach Andrew Watters explained. “We’re trying to cut down the walks and throw more strikes, that’s been an issue,” he said.
Carson gave up two more walks in the fifth inning before being pulled in favored for Brooks, who promptly walked the first batter he faced before settling down and helping Terrace get out of the bases-loaded, no-outs jam. Brooks coaxed the Royals’ Jared Whitman to strikeout, then got Girgus to ground into a 6-4-3 double play to end the threat.
Lynnwood took a 3-1 lead in the top of the sixth inning when Hacker lined a hard shot past Hawk shortstop Drew Serres to score Rome Boyer and Caleb Herr. But Terrace scored two runs of their own in the bottom of the inning off a Jared Maxfield RBI triple and a throwing error by Herr.
Watters likes the never-give-up, come-from-behind attitude he is seeing in his Terrace squad so far this season. “We’ve done that a couple times this year,” he said. “We’ve at least shown the ability to come back.”
“I like our lineup,” he continued. “We’ve got to make some adjustments at the plate and get a little better, but I like our lineup.”
Despite having just one win so far this season, Watters noted that the team has been in every game.
“We’ve had two tough losses this week, two extra-inning loses last week. We just haven’t gotten the clutch hit and the other teams have, and that’s really what it’s come down to,” he said. “We’re in a good place. We’ve moving forward. Lynnwood is a good team, a good challenge. We’ve just got to get ready for Friday.”
Even though his Lynnwood squad has won the first two games of the series, Dizard said this team isn’t satisfied with their effort this week yet.
“Every game is very important,” he said. “We’re going to go out and try to sweep them on Friday just because I know, when it comes down to when we’re getting ready to go to the playoffs, every game matters. If you’re a three-seed, a two-seed, a one-seed (in the district playoffs), it matters. So we’re taking every game very seriously.”
Prep Baseball: Lynnwood at Mountlake Terrace, March 23
Lynnwood 0 0 1 0 0 2 1 — 4
Terrace 1 0 0 0 0 2 0 — 3
Winning pitcher: David Cooper (Lynnwood)
Losing pitcher: Trent Brooks (Mountlake Terrace)
Records: Lynnwood 3-0 in Wesco League South Conference, 4-1 overall; Mountlake Terrace 0-3 in Wesco League South Conference, 1-4 overall
Lynnwood next game: versus Mountlake Terrace, Friday, March 25, 4 p.m. at Lynnwood High School
Mountlake Terrace next game: versus Lynnwood, Friday, March 25, 4 p.m. at Lynnwood High School
–Story and photos by Doug Petrowski