Liberty limps into postseason

May 7, 2013

By Christina Corrales-Toy

Darren Peterson (left), Liberty High School senior, gets the applause of Patriot parents in the fourth inning and celebrates the first of his two home runs against Mount Si by sharing a high-five with teammate Kyler Rose. Photo By Greg Farrar

Darren Peterson (left), Liberty High School senior, gets the applause of Patriot parents in the fourth inning and celebrates the first of his two home runs against Mount Si by sharing a high-five with teammate Kyler Rose. Photo By Greg Farrar

The Liberty High School baseball team scored six runs in its May 2 regular season loss to Mount Si, and senior Darren Peterson was responsible for all of them.

The Liberty first baseman had an impressive day at the plate, going 3-4 with two homeruns and six RBIs.

“It felt pretty good,” he said after the team’s regular season finale. “Yesterday, we had a nice batting practice that got us loose and ready for today’s game.”

Mount Si jumped to an early lead, scoring six runs in the second inning off Liberty pitcher Lorin Archibald. The Patriots responded by scoring two runs in the top of the fourth inning, thanks to Peterson’s first home run of the night, a shot hit well over the left field fence.

The Wildcats stayed aggressive, though, and added four more runs in the bottom of the inning, off of Liberty’s second pitcher of the night, George Suddock. Through four innings, the Patriots found themselves in a 10-2 hole to Mount Si.

Despite a season filled with adversity, including going winless in conference play, Liberty coach John Martin said it was not in his team’s nature to quit. The Patriots showed that grit and determination, fighting back until the very end of the game.

Liberty’s third pitcher of the night, Chase Vanek, held Mount Si scoreless for the rest of the game, after he took the mound in the fifth inning.

Peterson added another RBI in the sixth inning, on a single that scored senior Garrett Hughes. His second home run came in the seventh inning, when he drove in his fourth, fifth and sixth runs of the night. Mount Si went on to win 10-6, though.

“We got down early, but we fought the rest of the way and we came out ending in a pretty close game,” Peterson said of his team’s performance.

Even with the loss, Peterson’s night at the plate was a thing of beauty, the Liberty coach said.

“It was outstanding,” Martin said. “Pete had a good approach to the plate every at bat. I don’t think you could ask for a much better day at the park.”

Liberty’s season now begins anew, as the team heads into postseason play. The Patriots’ rocky regular season earned them the last seed in the KingCo baseball tournament.

“We’re not going to give up,” Martin said. “We know that we’re playing for pride now and seeding position. We made the tournament in sixth place.”

Liberty was scheduled to play Mercer Island in the first round of the KingCo tournament May 7. If the Patriots won, they would meet Mount Si again at 7 p.m. May 9 at Bannerwood Park in Bellevue. If the Patriots lost to the Islanders, it would be the end of their season.

The Patriots were in a similar predicament at last year’s KingCo tournament, but the team rallied to advance to the district tournament. Liberty hopes to replicate some of that postseason success again this year, Martin said.

“It’s a whole new ballgame on Tuesday,” he said. “Last time, we came from that point and got second in districts, so watch out. We’ll see what happens.”

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