Vashon Varsity Baseball was already off to a good start this season, yet last week they achieved a new level of success.
It started with an expected win against East Jefferson on Monday, March 20. The Pirates traveled to the peninsula and secured a 17-4 victory. Charlie Walker pitched five innings with eight strikeouts, and Chase Bradrick followed with an inning of strong relief before the unusually long game was called due to darkness.
“Their ace pitched well against us the first two innings, but then we adjusted and Charlie pitched great,” said the team’s head coach, Simon Perrin.
The Pirates traveled again on March 22, this time to play reigning state champions Bellevue Christian.
The Vikings have been a perennial challenge and this season is no exception. They currently roster Taylor Franklin —committed to George Fox University — and that day’s starting pitcher, Cash Erdman, committed to Washington State University.
Finn Hawkins started for Vashon and was keeping Bellevue in check. The Vikings scored two in the third inning, but Vashon came back and tied it up in the fifth inning on a triple by Bradrick and a double by Finn Magonegil. However, a series of errors loaded the bases for Bellevue in the bottom of the fifth.
Hawkins nearly escaped with some stellar pitching, striking out two, but then a bloop single brought in two runs. The Pirates lost the well-played game 2-5.
“After the game, I overheard senior, center fielder Maxwell Delgado-Williams gather the team and say ‘We had them, and they know we had them,’” said Perrin. “That game was a wake-up call that we could compete with the state champs.”
The following, bitterly cold day, the same two teams swapped home fields and the Vikings landed on Vashon.
Brock Ryan started for Bellevue and the Pirates jumped out to a 0-5 lead in the first inning, including a home run by senior, Will Weber, who is committed to Big Bend Community College, in Moses Lake. Jack Harvey had a great start on the mound for Vashon, and, assisted by the excellent defense behind him — including two double plays — continued to keep Bellevue off the scoreboard.
Solid hitting up and down the lineup led by seniors Delgado-Williams and Weber continued to add to the lead. Vashon was up 1-9 in the bottom of the fifth inning, with two batters out and bases loaded as Weber stepped to the plate.
The first pitch was a high curveball called a strike. The Viking’s pitcher went back to that same spot with the next pitch but this time Weber deposited it deep over the left field fence for his second home run and seventh RBI of the day.
It was a grand slam walk-off home run as the additional four runs induced the mercy rule. The home fans screamed with excitement as Weber jogged the bases and his teammates gathered at home plate to greet him and celebrate the dominant 1-13 win.
“It’s the culmination of the last two years,” said Perrin. ”I told them I knew you had it in you, but I didn’t know it would show up quite like that. It proves that good defense can hold the state champs to one run.”
Perrin called out the efforts of freshmen Colt Holloway and Sebastian Gallez, in addition to Chase Weber.
“They have been huge for us and their play lights a fire under the older guys,” he said. “Chase has also been an absolute rock with his hitting and defense and he just works hard. The walk-off grand slam…you can’t get more cherries on top than that.”
Weber also reflected on the game.
“Playing Bellevue is a grind for us, and seeing everyone give it their all was something special,” he said. “As for the walk-off, it’s just special, no way to describe it. Our hopes now are a playoff push and possibly the state title.”
Upcoming schedule for varsity baseball
- March 31 – Home vs. East Jefferson at 4 p.m.
- April 6 – Home vs. King’s Way Christian at 2 p.m.
- April 7 – Home vs. Sultan at 11 a.m.
- April 10 – Home vs. Charles Wright at 4 p.m.