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Wildcats grab 2 important wins | Baseball
Jack Richter's one-hitter and David Kusnick's timely double carried the Oak Harbor baseball team to a 2-1 win over visiting Shorewood Tuesday, April 10, then the Wildcats broke out of a hitting slump to pound visiting Everett 13-6 Wednesday.
The pair of wins were important in Oak Harbor's hopes of landing in the playoffs. Shorecrest and Mountlake Terrace appear to be the class of the league and Marysville Getchell takes up the rear, that leaves the other six teams fighting for four playoff spots.
Oak Harbor wasted a four-hitter last Friday in a 1-0 loss at Shorewood (2-5, 3-8), and looked like the Wildcats might lose another pitching gem Tuesday in the rematch as the Thunderbirds led 1-0 going into the bottom of the seventh.
However, the Oak Harbor offense, which hadn't scored in 18 innings, woke up just in time. Andrew Snavely, after getting behind in the count, led off the seventh with a pinch-hit walk; Mike Maletto followed with his second bunt single of the game; and Mitch Mertins walked to load the bases.
After a strikeout, pinch-hitter Kusnick lined a double over the left fielder's head to secure the win for the Wildcats and Richter, who came within two outs of a no hitter.
Coach Tyson VanDam said, "Nice to see the kids (Snavely and Kusnick) come off the bench and do their jobs."
He added, "Jack threw a good game; he threw all of his pitches for strikes."
Richter baffled Shorewood with off speed pitches, inviting the T-birds into 11 fly-ball outs. He allowed only three base runners -- two walks and Oak Harbor's only error -- heading into the seventh.
Richter started the seventh with his lone strikeout, then a walk and single put runners at the corners. A groundout to third scored the run; the runner on first was gunned down trying to advance to third on the play.
The Wildcats backed Richter with a strong defense, highlighted by several nice plays by third baseman Austyn Walker.
Oak Harbor collected only four hits, the first coming in the fourth on double by Grant Schroeder.
Against Everett in a light, steady rain throughout the game, the Wildcat offense slugged 10 hits and the defense featured diving catches by Nate Stanford, Maletto and Mertins to help slow the Seagulls.
Oak Harbor (3-6, 5-7) sprinted to a 10-1 lead in the first five innings and then withstood six runs over the final three innings by Seagulls (5-4, 5-6).
The Wildcats began the assault with a four-run second. Sam Glavick and Snavely hit back-to-back doubles for one run, and then Anthony Stewart walked. A pair of ground outs produced a run, Schroeder added an RBI single and an error allowed the fourth run.
Oak Harbor added two runs in each of the next three innings and three in the sixth.
In the third, the 'Cats loaded the bases on hits by Walker and Glavick and a walk to Snavely. An error off the bat of Stewart scored one run and a sacrifice fly by Mertins netted the second.
In the fourth, a double by Schroeder and singles by Richter and Glavick scored two.
In the fifth, Maletto walked with the bases loaded after two walks were sandwiched around a single by Mertins; the second run scored on a wild pitch.
In the sixth, Oak Harbor got three runs on only one hit, a single by Mertins, with the help of two walks, a hit batter, two wild pitches and a sacrifice fly.
Glavick finished the day 3-for-3 with a double, run, walk stolen base and RBI.
Schroeder was 2-for-3 with a double, stolen base and two RBI. Mertins had two singles and an RBI.
Oak Harbor goes to Everett at 4 p.m. Friday, April 13, and then hosts Lynnwood (3-3, 4-6) at 4 p.m. Tuesday, April 17.