Vashon baseball carves out hard-fought matches

Last week was an exciting ride for Vashon varsity baseball.

Last week was an exciting, hard fought ride for Vashon varsity baseball.

The first was a barn burner at home against the league-leading Bellevue Christian Vikings on April 22.

The game started with a bang, as Brock Ryan hit a solo home run for Bellevue in the first and Vashon answered back with a 2-run home run by Finn Hawkins. Charlie Walker started on the mound for Vashon and kept the Pirates in the game with some help from a solid defense behind him.

Bellevue added one run in the second inning, and two more in the third. Vashon countered with a run in the fourth as Finn Magonegil walked, stole second and then scored on a single by Jack Harvey.

Defensive mistakes came in the fifth inning, with back-to-back errors and a hit by pitch to load the bases with no outs, but Vashon didn’t panic. Chase Bradrick nabbed a grounder at third to get the runner at home. The next at bat produced a double play — Hawkins to Sebastian Gallez to Will Frith — to escape the inning with no runs.

In the top of the seventh inning, Bellevue added one more run on a sacrifice fly by Ryan to take a two run lead. Two quick outs in the bottom of the seventh put the Pirate’s backs against the wall, but the team’s scrappy, no-quit attitude reared up once again.

Gallez singled. Bradrick singled. With two on, Frith hit a deep fly to right center off of Ryan. Center fielder Cash Erdman raced back, trying to track it down, but the ball continued to carry over him to the wall, scoring two to tie the game. It was on to extra innings.

The Vikings put up one in the top of the eighth to regain the lead. But the Pirates had more two-out magic in them. Magonegil walked, and Harvey and Josh Healy bunted him to third. Hawkins was intentionally walked, but that backfired on the Vikings as Walker laced a single to center to tie the game once again.

On to the ninth, where Frith relieved and pitched through the heart of the Viking line up with three quick outs. There was no score for Vashon in the bottom of the frame, and the bout chugged on to the 10th inning.

Bellevue scored one on a sacrifice fly, and this time the Pirates couldn’t answer, falling to a tough 7-6 loss — but not before giving the hometown faithful one to remember.

“(We had) clutch hits by Will, Jack and Charlie,” Head Coach Simon Perrin said. “We want that win of course, but it shows our team that when they play well, we are dangerous and can run with anyone. Bellevue has the best record in the league. The boys played well. I’m proud of how they kept fighting back.”

The nail biting continued on April 24 with another tight game at Charles Wright Academy. Harvey started on the mound for Vashon and pitched a solid complete game, giving up only two runs, both of which came in the first inning.

The Vashon bats cooled again as Tarriers pitcher Easton Francis limited them to only three hits. Zeros on both sides kept the tension high through the rest of the game, and in the top of the seventh inning, it looked as though Vashon might once again find a way.

Walker singled and moved to second on the next out. Frith singled and Walker scored to make it 1-2. Brent Calhoun singled, but the score would stay there as the come back hopes ended with another of Francis’ 11 strikeouts.

A rainout reschedule moved a would-be home game with Charles Wright Academy back to their field on April 27, and that match too was right on brand as intense and close.

The game was highlighted by a stellar pitching performance from Hawkins. Vashon put up two runs in the first inning, and it looked as though they were off to more relaxing day, but zeros the rest of the way left it up to Hawkins and some solid defense, including a diving play in center field by Magonegil, to keep the game in check.

Hawkins took a no-hitter all the way to the last inning with two outs when B. Bennet was inserted in the line up to pinch hit, and delivered a single to left field. Hawkins bounced right back to cap the game with one of his eight strikeouts, and completed the 2-0 shut out.

“We played well, but Hawk took us through that game,” Coach Perrin said. “It was tough to see that one hit fall, but he pitched a great game. We played pretty well all week, (with) fewer technical errors. The boys are turning into the team they can be just before the tournament.”

Vashon is 5-8, and this last week of league play will be critical to secure a home field advantage in the first tournament game.

Eric Frith is a parent of a Pirates baseball team member.

Upcoming games:

May 3 — Senior Night, vs. Seattle Christian at Vashon at 4:00 p.m.

May 6 – 11 — Nisqually Tournament. Games TBD.

Holly Taylor photo
Chase Bradrick goes up to hit.

Holly Taylor photo Chase Bradrick goes up to hit.