Spartans take Eastlake 4-3 in plateau baseball matchup

April 3, 2012

By Lillian O'Rorke

If Sammamish was only allotted one sunny afternoon last week, March 26 was the perfect pick as plateau baseball fans gathered in the sunshine to watch the Skyline High School Spartans edge out the Eastlake High School Wolves, 4-3.

Both teams entered the contest having been successful so far in the beginning of what looks like to be a solid season of league play.

Playing “4A KingCo in any sport is tough, but especially in baseball. There is no game you go into thinking, ‘We have the advantage,’” Skyline coach Chris Tamminen said. “A lot of the teams are right there with each other. Each game is going to be a battle. It’s going to come down to who can play in the clutch.”

The Spartans led 3-0 most of the game by grabbing a run in the second, third and fourth innings.

“Our motto is to play a hard seven no matter what the score is,” Tamminen said. “We have a good bench. The kids do a good job as far staying in the game and helping out on the field and coming in when they have to.”

For the Spartans, Brandon Fischer went 2 for 4 with a double and a run; Jack Valencia hit 2 for 3 and scored one run; Patrick Harrod batted 1 for 4 with a double and one RBI; Matt Sinatro hit 1 for 3 with an RBI; and Clayton Huber, who pitched the majority of the game for the Spartans, struck out six of the 24 batters he faced and hit 1 for 4 with a double and an RBI.

“Skyline kept hitting the ball and they played a good game,” Eastlake catcher Casey Fithian said. “We were definitely in it to fight, but we got off to a slow start … We were thinking too much of our own performance at bat and not as a team.”

The catcher is a member of the Wolves’ senior leadership for the team and said that as the game wore on he and the other older players talked to the boys about getting fired up.

Then in the top of the seventh inning, they did. Eastlake scored its first run of the game and had two on base, waiting for the chance to cross home plate. The Wolves’ dugout got louder as they watched their players use the Skyline pitcher’s balks to their advantage and racked up two more runs.

When all was said and done, Eastlake’s Mick Vorhoff batted 3 for 3 with one RBI; Grant Beahm went 1 for 1 with an RBI; Fithian hit 1 for 2. Pitching for the Wolves the entire game, Josh Barokas faced 33 batters and struck out six of them.

“I wish we would have ended up winning the game, but we still put pressure on them,” Fithian said. “We’ll take runs however they come.”

The seventh inning and the game came to an end when Brandon Fischer, senior outfielder for Skyline, crossed home plate to find his teammates rushing the field to celebrate their 4-3 win.

“We are excited about our start,” Tamminen said. “Hopefully the kids are excited but there is no room for complacency. We’ve got to keep on working hard to get better.”

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