Skyline edges rival Eastlake, 8-7

May 3, 2011

By Christopher Huber

Matt Lunde, Skyline High School junior pitcher, throws to an Eastlake batter in the bottom of the second inning to got himself out of a bases-loaded jam. Lunde was the winning pitcher in the 8-7 victory. By Christopher Huber

If the Spartan’s junior outfielder Clayton Huber had not been hit by a pitch in the top of the sixth inning, the Eastlake High School baseball team might have had a better chance to win.

But Huber’s reaching base was just the beginning of a four-run inning that broke open a 4-4 tie April 28. Skyline then held on to post an 8-7 victory at Eastlake.

“They definitely battled,” Skyline coach Chris Tamminen said. “We gave them a couple gifts, but they definitely battled.”

Despite committing three errors and a few other costly mistakes, Skyline managed to beat its cross-town rival.

The victory was the second of a busy week for the Spartans, who entered this week with a 7-6 record and in third place of the 4A KingCo Conference Crest Division. Eastlake went to 1-11 in league play.

Skyline got out to an early 2-0 lead after Eastlake dropped a fly ball. The Spartans scored one more run in the second on a Joe Beattie RBI single.

The Wolves came back in the third, though, tying the game at 3-3 when Casey Fithian drove in Robert Nolan, and infielder Derek Papke scored two more on a double to right field. Papke’s double, a rising line drive, soared right over the glove of the Skyline right fielder.

The instance of lost focus highlighted, for Tamminen, Skyline’s mentality after beating Redmond, the state’s No. 2 ranked team, 4-3, on April 26. He called the complacency against Eastlake symptoms of a “hangover.”

“It played a huge factor in being negative for us,” he said. “We did not have energy for that game yesterday. That’s not how we can play. We got a little complacent.”

Each team tallied a run in the fifth inning, leaving it tied at 4-4 going into the sixth.

Huber scored the first of four runs in the sixth for Skyline. Teammate Travis Snider belted a 2-RBI single down the left field line to break open the tie. And Conner Gilchrist followed suit three batters later to make the game 7-4. Before Eastlake ended the inning, sophomore shortstop Matt Sinatro drove in Skyline’s final run on a fielder’s choice. Huber, a consistent force this season, finished the game 2-for-3 with an RBI.

“He’s been having some good at-bats,” Tamminen said. “And he has been pretty consistent. He’s been a pleasant surprise with the bat.”

Eastlake battled back in the seventh inning with three runs of its own, including a walked-in run for Ryan Tucker and a 2-RBI single to right from infielder Pierce Warren. Fithian seemed to hold things together for Eastlake. He finished 3-for-4 from the plate with two doubles, an RBI and three runs scored. He also threw out Matt Sinatro at first in the second inning.

Spartans stun Redmond

Skyline posted one of the biggest upsets of the season in the 4A KingCo Conference April 26 when the Spartans stunned Redmond, 4-3.

Redmond entered the contest as the first-place team in the Crest Division.

With the game tied 3-3, Skyline scored the winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning.

Winning pitcher Travis Snider went the distance and held Redmond, a strong hitting team, to just four hits. Snider also struck out four batters.

Jimmy Sinatro and Snider each had two hits to lead the Spartans. Brandon Fisher, Jimmy Sinatro and Matt Sinatro each drove in runs for Skyline, which went to 6-5 in league play.

Skyline ended the week April 29 with a 4-2 loss to second-place Newport. Fisher and Snider each had two hits for Skyline.

Issaquah drops two

Issaquah fell to Eastlake, 2-1, April 26. The victory was the first of the season in league play for Eastlake.

Brandon Mahovlich was a tough-luck pitcher for Issaquah. He had eight strikeouts in six innings.

The Eagles also lost to Redmond, 6-2, April 30 to fall to 6-7 in league play.

Patriots pummel Bellevue

The Liberty High School baseball team, which had struggled to score runs this season, erupted April 25 as the host Patriots pummeled Bellevue, 10-0, in a 3A/2A KingCo Conference contest.

“We finally played a complete game,” Liberty coach Steve Darnell said.

Winning pitcher Izak Styksal scattered five hits. Scott Zerda, Mitch Askins and Garrett Hughes each had two hits for the Patriots.

The Patriots also blanked Mercer Island, 3-0, April 29. Jacob Hofferber was the winning pitcher. Chris Weik had two hits for Liberty.

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