The Vashon High School Pirate baseball team unloaded three home runs in defeating the Seattle Christian Warriors, 11-3, in tri-district playoffs last Saturday.They now move on to the round of 16, playing for one of four state tournament berths.
The Pirates jumped on the Warriors early, taking a 4-0 lead in the first inning off hits by sophomore Matt Amick (single), senior Chris Allman (triple) and senior Justin Calhoun (double). When Pirate senior Nathan Ott stepped to the plate in the third, the Pirates still held a 4-1 lead. The bases were loaded following walks by Calhoun and sophomore Wes Paulsen and a single by senior Micah Deibell. With the stroke of his bat, Ott doubled the Pirates’ points sending a towering shot over the left field fence.
Meanwhile, near flawless Pirate defense behind the pitching of junior Chris Pieterick, who went the distance, held Seattle Christian to 3 runs on 5 hits. Even when Pieterick got himself into a bases-loaded jam in the second inning, great plays on foul balls by first baseman Ott and catcher Tom Schumaker kept Seattle Christian from capitalizing. The final out of the game was recorded in style by Deibell, who made a spectacular diving catch of a roped ball to right field.
Earlier in the week, the Pirates travelled to Coupeville on Whidbey Island to play the Coupeville Wolves in the opening of tri-district play. Deibell pitched a great game, allowing only three hits, before being relieved by Pieterick in the fifth. However, four Pirate errors handed victory to the Wolves, who won 4-2 despite being outhit 7-4.
The Pirates threatened in the third inning when, with no score on the board, sophomore Joe Gilmour opened the inning with a base hit. He managed to reach third base before the Wolves were able to retire the side. The Pirates came back to record the first score of the game in the fourth inning. Allman started off with a walk, followed with singles by Schumaker and Deibell to score Allman. Schumaker later scored on a heads-up play, sneaking home following a shallow pop-up, catching the Wolves off guard in their moment of self-congratulation.
The Wolves howled back in the fifth. After giving up an opening walk, Deibell was called for a questionable balk while pitching to the next batter. The plucky Pirate pitcher hung in for a 12 pitch-count battle with the Coupeville batter, who fouled off eight pitches before finally drawing a walk. This, and a subsequent error, eventually led to a no-out, bases-loaded jam. Deibell appeared out of gas. After giving up two runs, the bases still loaded, and still only one out, he gave up the ball to junior reliever Chris Pieterick. Two more runs would eventually score that inning, rounding out the scoring for the game.
After Saturday’s Pirate victory, head coach Steve Hall lauded his team’s performance, saying, “They played good fundamental ball.”
This was echoed by assistant coach Adam Laskey. “They played like they’re supposed to play.” Both coaches expressed hope that the boys will continue to put all their skills together.
“This team is capable of playing with any team in the state, if they just perform as I know they can,” added Hall.
The Pirates move on to regional tournament play this Saturday, May 17, at Castle Rock.
Vashon and Friday Harbor are are tied for fourth seed out of the tri-district. Vashon needs to win two games that day to move on to the state tournament in Yakima the following weekend.