Liberty, Hazen seasons end in playoffs

June 3, 2010

By Tim Pfarr

Anthony Pina, Hazen senior, rises to his feet after stealing home on a wild pitch in the sixth inning against Issaquah March 17. By Greg Farrar

Both Liberty High School and Hazen High School’s baseball teams’ seasons came to an end in mid-May with losses in the playoffs.

Hazen finished its season with a 15-7 overall record and a 12-4 conference record, taking third in the Seamount League. However, the 15-win season set a new school record for the Highlanders.

Liberty finished its season with a 13-8 overall record and a 12-4 conference record, taking third in the KingCo 3A conference.

Hazen

Hazen closed out its season with four straight wins against Evergreen, Tyee, Foster and Highline high schools, respectively.

In a postseason seeding game May 7, the team was shutout 3-0 by Auburn Mountainview High School.

Auburn Mountainview, considered the visiting team, got off to a hot start in the top of the first inning, taking a 1-0 lead. Auburn Mountainview added two more runs in the top of the sixth inning, securing the 3-0 victory.

Next, Hazen defeated Timberline High School 4-2 May 11 in a game played in Yelm. Again, Hazen was considered the home team, and the Highlanders struck first in the bottom of the second inning, thanks to a double by Travis Johnson and a two-run home run by Anthony Pina.

Timberline tied the game at 2-2 in the top of the third inning, but Hazen stuck again in the bottom of the third, scoring one to take the lead 3-2. Finally, Hazen added another run in the bottom of the fifth inning to secure the win, 4-2.

Hazen starting pitcher Jimmy Schmidt got the win, pitching six innings, facing 25 batters, striking out three, and giving up two unearned runs and only two hits.

It was a significant win for Hazen, as Timberline made it to the final four in the state tournament last year.

Finally, Hazen took on Camas High School May 12 in a game played in Puyallup, but the Highlanders lost 15-8, ending their season.

Hazen was considered the home team again in this game, but Camas started things off quickly in the top of the first inning, taking a 1-0 lead. Hazen struck back in the second inning with two runs of its own, but Camas scored two more in the top of the second inning and four more in the top of the fourth.

Although Hazen would score two more runs in the bottom of the fourth, Camas delivered fatal blows in the top of the sixth and seventh innings, scoring five and three runs in the innings, respectively. Hazen racked up four more runs of its own in the bottom of the seventh, but it was too little too late.

“There was a lot of offense, but unfortunately not enough from us,” Hazen head coach Gary Jacobs said. “The guys came into it with a lot of energy, but they didn’t have enough gas in the tank to take them out.”

Had Hazen won the game, it would have been one of the final 16 teams in the state tournament.

Liberty

After suffering a heartbreaking, one-run loss to Mercer Island High School in extra innings to close the regular season May 6, Liberty found itself in a three-way tie for first place in its conference with Mercer Island and Mount Si High School.

The teams went into a tiebreaker, and by a coin toss, it was decided that Liberty would play Mercer Island, with the loser of the match taking third and the winner advancing to play Mount Si for the division championship.

In the tiebreaker game against Mercer Island, Liberty was considered the home team, and Mercer Island started off hot, scoring three runs in the top of the first inning. Liberty’s offense appeared to be warming up in the second inning, as the Patriots drove in one run and found themselves with the bases loaded, with one out and with Ian Davies at bat.

However, Davies rocketed the ball straight to Mercer Island pitcher Max Dammeier, who caught the ball and picked off the runner at second base for an inning-ending double play.

Mercer Island got hot again almost immediately, scoring four more runs in the top of the fourth inning and two more in the top of the fifth inning, burying the Patriots.

“We’ve played now four times, so it should be a closer ballgame than it was, that’s for sure,” Darnell said after playing Mercer Island in the tiebreaker.

Later that night, Mount Si crushed Mercer Island 14-2 to take the 3A KingCo title.

Liberty then went on to play Sammamish High School May 11, but lost 4-1, ending its season.

“We had high expectations, so the early departure really hit us hard,” Darnell said.

All-league players

Hazen

First team

  • John Wall
  • Jimmy Schmidt

Second Team

  • Jeff Beckman
  • Travis Johnson

Liberty

First team

  • Troy Colyer

Second Team

  • Connor Sjolander
  • John McLeod
  • Cameron Talley
  • Troy Askins
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