Lakeside Recovery’s season ends at Legion district tournament

July 22, 2014

By Neil Pierson

Lakeside Recovery had a largely successful regular season of Double-A American Legion baseball, but the end came surprisingly quick at last week’s Area 1 South District tournament.

Lakeside Recovery — comprised of 17-and-under players from Skyline, Issaquah and Newport high schools — opened the tourney with an 11-1 loss to Juanita, and didn’t find its groove in the next game either, suffering a season-ending 5-1 loss to the Monroe Legends on July 17 at Eastlake High School.

By Neil Pierson Lakeside Recovery pitcher Jack Rooney keeps his team in the game for five innings.

By Neil Pierson
Lakeside Recovery pitcher Jack Rooney keeps his team in the game for five innings.

“It’s tough to win in the district tournament, and we just couldn’t put any offense together,” Lakeside coach Chris Tamminen said. “We had some errors on the defensive side, and nothing was really clicking. Obviously, we’d played better all year, and these two games, we just didn’t play up to our potential.”

Lakeside finished 13-5 in league games, earning the No. 3 seed to the eight-team district tournament. But after getting blown out by sixth-seeded Juanita on July 16, the season ended with an overall mark of 20-16.

Monroe, the No. 7 seed, took early control of the July 17 loser-out contest, scoring twice in the top of the first inning off Lakeside starter Jack Rooney.

Rooney walked leadoff batter Matt Baller, and Joey Crawford beat out an infield hit. Both players scored on Shawn Smith’s groundout, with Crawford hustling in from second base.

“Giving up two runs was tough because then you’re playing from behind,” Tamminen said. “But the kids stayed positive, and they kept on working hard and trying to do their best. But against better pitching, we’ve had a struggle scoring runs, that’s for sure.”

Monroe added to the lead in the fourth on singles from Cooper Martin and Tristan Newsome.

Lakeside got within 3-1 in its half of the frame as Gunnar Erickson, an Issaquah High product, homered over the left-field fence. But Lakeside also wasted a chance to get closer as Chris O’Dore was picked off at second for the third out.

The Legends widened their lead in the fifth, using Martin’s two-run single to capitalize on two walks. The 5-1 lead was more than enough for pitcher Tyler Koontz, who held Lakeside to four hits in seven innings.

Koontz outdueled Rooney, who had ups and downs during five innings of work. Rooney, an incoming sophomore at Skyline, had 10 strikeouts, but issued four walks and hit one batter. Three of the four walks resulted in runs.

Rooney also didn’t have much good luck, Tamminen said.

“Some of those unfortunate swinging bunts kind of hurt us, where you can’t make a play on them, and things kind of add up a little bit,” he said. “It kind of just starts snowballing on you a little bit.

“But when they got on base, they made the most of it,” he said of Monroe. “They were aggressive, they took advantage of us — some physical and mental errors — and that’s the name of the game. My hat’s off to them. They did a good job.”

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