Issaquah rallies to beat Redmond, 7-6

April 16, 2013

By Lillian O'Rorke

The Issaquah High School baseball team grabbed its fourth consecutive league-win April 10 when it came from behind at the bottom of the sixth inning to beat Redmond, 7-6.

“It was a good game,” said Justin Vernia, a senior at Issaquah High School. “The beginning was kind of slow. We weren’t all there. We weren’t very energetic, but as the game went on, we got more into it.”

By Lillian O’Rorke Justin Vernia, Issaquah High School senior, hits his 3-RBI double to take the lead in the sixth inning for a come-from-behind, 7-6 victory April 10 against Redmond.

By Lillian O’Rorke
Justin Vernia, Issaquah High School senior, hits his 3-RBI double to take the lead in the sixth inning for a come-from-behind, 7-6 victory April 10 against Redmond.

The Issaquah Eagles started the game off with one run in the bottom of the first, but didn’t score again for the next three innings. After knocking down two runs in the third, Redmond was ahead 2-1.

Then, at the bottom of the fifth, Vernia hit a double to drive Mitchell Morimoto all the way home from first base, tying the game at 2-2.

The Redmond Mustangs quickly recovered the lead, shooting ahead at the top of the sixth with three runs, the last two of which were scored on deep hits to the outfield.

“We know they are a tough team,” said Alex Shimizu, who came in as Issaquah’s relief pitcher during the sixth inning. “They’ve been hitting the ball well, so I was trying to keep the ball low, get a lot of ground balls, try to get them out.”

Going into the bottom of the sixth, the Eagles only had two more chances to take the game. They only needed one.

First up was Issaquah senior Ryan Guiberson, who hit the ball just above the shortstop’s reach for a single. Nik Sutherland followed with a hit past the second baseman. With Redmond walking Jack Gellatly next, the bases were loaded. Redmond struck out the next batter before Derek Chapman stepped up the plate and hit a single to drive Guiberson home.

With the bases reloaded, Keegan Chaplin struck out. Recovering, Issaquah earned an automatic run when Redmond walked Morimoto. Only trailing by one run, Issaquah had two outs and the bases loaded when Vernia hit a double for three RBIs.

“Rounding first, I was pretty excited. And then, our coach, Bruce, was like, ‘Go, go, go,’” Vernia said. “I was kind bummed it didn’t go out, but it’s still a bases-clearing double, so that’s good enough.”

With two outs against them in the top of the seventh, the Mustangs had already scored one more and were closing in on Issaquah. With a runner on second, Milo Mincin stepped up to the plate for Redmond and connected with a pitch from Shimizu. The ball smacked Shimizu before being fielded by second baseman Chapman. In a fluid motion, he threw it to first. Mincin was out and Issaquah had won the game, 7-6.

“That was an exciting game,” Issaquah coach Rob Reese said. “The big thing was what a great play Keegan made. He had struck out with the bases loaded the previous inning, and didn’t take his offense out to his defense and made a great play out there. Basically saved the game right there.”

The second baseman explained that he had to leave his disappointment about his plate performance in the dugout and concentrate on making plays in the field.

“It was a good win,” Chapman said. “That is really the first time we’ve had to come back this season from that far down, and I think that is going to go far as we continue in the season. Because we are going to be down again and we need to know how to come back from that.”

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