Lakeside battles back from the brink of elimination

August 11, 2009

By Bob Taylor

Shane Yarnell, one of Lakeside Recovery’s key arms powering them to the Pacific Northwest Regional Tournament in Medford, Ore., pitches to a Bellevue Baseball Club batter July 23 in an American Legion game at Newport High School. By Christopher Huber

Shane Yarnell, one of Lakeside Recovery’s key arms powering them to the Pacific Northwest Regional Tournament in Medford, Ore., pitches to a Bellevue Baseball Club batter July 23 in an American Legion game at Newport High School. By Christopher Huber

Legion team is two wins from World Series

Another day, another hero. That was the theme for the Lakeside Recovery Senior team at the Pacific Northwest Regional Tournament in Medford, Ore., last week.

One day, it was Shane Yarnell, an Issaquah High School pitcher. Another day, it was pitcher Jared Lemke, a recent Skyline High School graduate, or outfielder Andrew West.

On Aug. 9, it was Skyline pitcher Peyton Harrod and Newport High School pitcher Cole Wiper. Harrod, in his most important starting assignment of the season, tossed eight strong innings as Lakeside eliminated the Billings, Mont., Scarlets 4-2 in a loser-out contest at Harry and David Stadium.

With the victory, Lakeside reached the Aug. 10 championship round against host Medford Mustangs. Lakeside, coming through the consolation bracket, needed to beat Medford twice to earn a berth to the World Series Aug. 14-18 in Fargo, N.D. Results were unavailable before The Press’ deadline.

Lakeside and Medford met earlier this season in a tournament in Portland, Ore., and Medford prevailed 31-22.In an interview with the Medford Mail-Tribune, Lakeside coach Rob Reese recalled the slugfest with the Mustangs.

“It’s funny,” he said. “They’d get up by nine, and we’d come back. We were only down three going into the sixth. It was a ridiculous game both ways. Nobody could get anybody out.”

Lakeside reached the championship round the hard way, needing to win three loser-out games after dropping its opener to Charter Cove, Calif., 7-6 Aug. 6.

Harrod, the losing pitcher in the tournament opener, responded with one of his best efforts of the season. Usually a relief pitcher this season, Harrod kept Billings in check most of the game. He struck out six batters. Matt Houser, of Issaquah High, relieved Harrod in the bottom of the ninth inning.

However, Houser didn’t last long. He walked two batters and was relieved by Wiper.

After a sacrifice bunt moved two Billings runners, Wiper struck out a batter, but walked the next hitter to load the bases. Lakeside escaped the jam and posted another thrilling tournament triumph when Wiper fanned Brady Muller, of Billings, to end the game.

“It was huge,” Reese said. “He’s (Wiper) done that in the past and he’s only a sophomore. He’s had a few games like that. He’s a strikeout type of guy, so when we need a strikeout, we call on him.”

Lakeside trailed 2-1 going into the seventh inning, but erupted for three runs. Billings pitcher Anthony Kuntz, nearly untouchable at times, hit Newport graduate Colin Hering with a pitch and walked Skyline High graduate Ryan Somers to set up Lakeside’s winning rally.

Reese ordered a double steal and it worked like a charm. On the next play, Devin O’Donnell, an Issaquah senior-to-be, doubled down the right field line to drive in two runs. West followed with a run-scoring single.

It didn’t appear that Lakeside was headed for the championship round after losing to Charter Cove 7-6. Lakeside held the lead for most of the game and led 6-1 going into the top of the eighth inning, when Charter Cove scored four times to make it a one-run game.

Brent Milan then hit a two-run double off Harrod in the top of the ninth to cap Charter Cove’s comeback. Hering had two hits and drove in four runs for Lakeside. Sean Penberthy, of Skyline, also had two hits. Lakeside starting pitcher Jared Fisher, a Newport sophomore, tossed seven strong innings and had six strikeouts.

On Aug. 7, Lakeside outlasted Lewiston, Idaho, 12-11 in a loser-out game. Yarnell provided Lakeside with six innings of gutsy relief pitching. Issaquah grad Kyle Sutherland, Penberthy and West each had three hits.

West also drove in three runs. Lakeside broke an 8-8 tie in the top of the seventh inning by scoring four runs. Yarnell singled in O’Donnell with what proved to be the winning run. Newport graduate Kevon Zadeh, Penberthy and West also drove in runs in the inning.

Yarnell held the lead but worked out of a small jam in the bottom of the ninth. After Lewiston got a one-out single, Yarnell retired the next two batters to give Lakeside its dramatic victory.

Lakeside led 1-0 after the third inning. In the top of the third, Lewiston knocked out Lakeside starter Hering with six runs. However, Lakeside came back with three runs in the top of the fourth inning.

Issaquah grad Mario Sanelli had a sacrifice fly to knock in a run and Sutherland drove in a run with a single. Lakeside broke the tie with four runs in the top of the sixth after two outs. Victor King, of Newport, singled in one run and West drove in two more with a single. O’Donnell stole home for the fourth run.

On Aug. 8, Lakeside blasted the South Wolverines, of Anchorage, Alaska, 12-2. Lemke, who signed a letter of intent with Central Washington University, tossed a complete game, striking out nine and issuing just three walks.

Lemke’s “biggest bugaboo is throwing strikes,” Reese said. “When he does throw strikes, he’s really tough. He has a good changeup and curveball. His last two outings have been tremendous for us.”

West continued his hot hitting in place of Spencer Rogers, Lakeside’s top hitter. Rogers missed the tournament because of a family reunion in Hawaii. West had three hits and drove in two runs as Lakeside eliminated the Alaska state champs. Sutherland, Hering and O’Donnell each had two hits.

Lakeside went ahead 2-0 in the top of the third inning. Sutherland singled in a run and Penberthy knocked in a run with a sacrifice fly. West had a two-run single when Lakeside broke open the game with five runs in the top of the seventh.

Reach Sports Editor Bob Taylor at bobtaylor@isspress.com or 392-6434, ext. 236. Comment on this story at www.issaquahpress.com.

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