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Oak Harbor finishes 3rd in state tournament | Legion
In a game of mistakes and missed opportunities by both teams, Oak Harbor fell to league rival Snohomish 7-6 in the Junior Legion A state tournament at North Thurston High School in Lacey Wednesday, Aug. 3.
The Wildcats finished third in the tournament. Snohomish went on to meet Woodinville in the championship game, losing 5-1.
This was Oak Harbor's second trip to the state Legion A playoffs; it placed second in 2006.
The Wildcats finished 22-16-1 for the summer, went 12-2 in league and shared the conference title with Bellingham.
Snohomish finished third in league (9-5) but finished strong, beating Bellingham the last week of the regular season and again in the district tournament.
Oak Harbor and Snohomish tied for the district title when their game ended in a rainout with the score knotted at 3.
The Wildcats defeated Snohomish in the first games of the summer 5-4 and 14-7 May 31.
Only one of the 13 runs in the state game between Oak Harbor and Snohomish was earned as the teams combined to commit 11 errors and to issue 11 walks.
Also, Oak Harbor left 13 runners on base in the seven-inning game. Snohomish stranded eight.
In the second inning, Oak Harbor zipped to a 4-0 lead. Austyn Walker reached on an error, David Kusnick singled and Corey Cameron moved them up with a bunt. One run scored as Anthony Stewart reached on another error. After an out, Ben Etzell walked to load the bases.
Jack Richter drove in two runs with a single, then Zach Zimmer singled in another.
The score remained 4-0 until the top of the fourth when Snohomish scored on a single, error and single.
Snohomish made it 4-2 in the fifth. An error, walk and error on a double play ball loaded the bases. An RBI single chased starter Richter. Etzell entered in relief and minimized the damage by throwing a double-play ball on his first pitch.
In the sixth, Snohomish's lead off hitter boarded on an error. After two outs, a double, error and two more doubles gave the 96ers a 6-4 lead.
Snohomish scored the game's only earned run in the seventh after a walk, bunt single and two fielder's choices.
Down 7-4 heading into its final at bat, Oak Harbor didn't die. The Wildcats mounted a rally with the help of three errors by the Snohomish shortstop.
After an out, David Kusnick walked and Teddy Peterschmidt reached on the first error. A wild pitch moved up the runners, then Kusnick scored on a ground out by Stewart. Another run scored when Grant Schroeder reached on an error. A walk to Etzell and the inning's third error on Richter's grounder loaded the bases. A deep fly to right by Zimmer ended the game.
Zimmer and Richter each finished with two hits. Schroeder doubled and Kusnick and Cameron singled for the other Oak Harbor hits.
Assistant coach Jake Jansen handled the coaching duties as head coach Tyson VanDam was unable to attend the tournament.
Jansen said, "We just kept battling. We had plenty of chances to fold but didn't; we definitely wanted to play for the championship.
"I am happy how the season went and pleased with the whole team."