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State berth up for grabs as Wolverines host Bellevue Christian, Thursday, 5 p.m. | Baseball
The Wolverines will square off against Bellevue Christian Thursday at Hartman Field following Wednesday's rainout of the scheduled Tri-District opener in Friday Harbor.
Friday Harbor, seeded No. 5 among eight teams competing in the 1A regional, can clinch a berth at state 1A baseball tournament with a victory over the Emerald City League's seventh-seeded Vikings. The loser of Thursday's opening round contest would need back-to-back wins in the consolation bracket to claim the Tri-District's fifth and final slot at State.
The game begins at 5 p.m. (Because the game at Hartman is a Tri-District event, admission is $6 for adults and for students without an ASB card, and $4 for students with an ASB card, and for seniors).
On Monday, the Wolverines grabbed the Tri-District's No. 5 seed thanks to a pair of narrow wins at the District 1 playoffs. Senior Alex Jangard scattered six base hits over seven innings and struck out seven in leading Friday Harbor to a 4-1 victory over Nooksack Valley in the opening game. Senior Roy Taylor and sophomore Austin Lambright drove in two runs apiece in the fifth inning to put the Wolverines out in front for good.
The Pioneers tallied their only run of the game in the sixth. Jangard pitched seven innings without giving up a single base-on-balls.
"It was probably his best outing of the year on the mound," Coach Rich Warin said.
Though far less effective on the mound than Jangard, senior Shawn Cutting, the Wolverines leading pitcher, overcame an uneven performance to come away with a 4-2 victory over Lynden Christian in the second game and to seal the team's fifth seed at Tri-Districts.
Cutting struck out eight but also gave up 10 base-on-balls and hit one batter over seven innings.
But the senior lefty made up a subpar performance on the mound by stroking a clutch extra-base hit with the Wolverines trailing 2-1 in their final at-bat. Tanner Buck cracked a deep fly ball that tied the score at 2-2 as Brent Sandifer scored from third on the sacrifice fly and that allow Cutting to advance from second base to third.
With two outs and the scored tied, the Lyncs opted to load the bases by walking the next two batters, Jangard and Taylor. The decision backfired as a substitute Lynden Christian pitcher then walked the next to batters and allowed Friday Harbor to grab a lead that they held until the final out.
— Scott Rasmussen