NWLL earns title shot against Burlington-Edison | 11/12 Baseball
By JIM WALLER
Whidbey News Times Sports editor
July 12, 2012 · 11:08 AM
The North Whidbey Major League (11/12) all-stars will try to keep their hopes of winning the District 11 tournament alive -- and get some revenge as well -- when they meet Burlington-Edison tonight, July 12, at 6 p.m. at Windjammer Park.
Since Burlington dumped NWLL 10-0 Tuesday and is undefeated, North Whidbey will have to defeat Burlington twice to gain the district crown and berth into the state tournament. If North Whidbey wins tonight, the two teams tangle again at 6 p.m. Friday.
After losing to Burlington, North Whidbey bounced back to defeat South Whidbey 8-0 Wednesday to get the opportunity for the Burlington rematch.
North Whidbey coach Terri Mebane said, "I think we are more ready. We understand what went wrong."
In the loss, North Whidbey was done in by a shaky defense, a lack of confidence at the plate and an uneven pitching performance, according to Mebane.
North Whidbey committed key errors in each of the innings Burlington scored, including one in front of a grand slam by Tyler Henry in the six-run fourth inning that put the game away.
NWLL managed only two hits, singles by Chris Trisler and Kenneth Morrow. Mebane said, "We were totally intimidated by their pitcher."
North Whidbey starting pitcher Ewan Preedit failed to find his rhythm, Mebane said, and couldn't get into a groove.
In the win over South Whidbey, North Whidbey won 8-0 but it was far from an easy victory. North Whidbey scored all eight runs with two outs in the fourth inning; otherwise it was a great ball game by both teams.
A lot of things went right for North Whidbey and wrong for South Whidbey in the fourth.
Trisler started the rally with a single, Kamren Mebane overcame an 0-2 count to work a walk and Eli Bryson blooped a single just out of the reach of the South Whidbey center fielder to load the bases.
It looked like South Whidbey pitcher, Louis Pope, who had given up only two hits entering the inning, might get out of the jam when induced a pop up, fired a strike out and then got the next hitter, Preedit, to fly to center. But Preedit's ball was misplayed into a three-run, three-base error.
Dylan Bailey followed with an RBI single, then after an error off the bat of Jason Runkle and a single by Cory Roberts, Trisler ripped a three-run home run to cap the inning.
Meanwhile, NW pitcher Runkle blanked the South Whidbey hitters. He threw five innings and struck out nine while yielding three hits and two walks. Roberts threw the sixth and, after a lead off hit, a line-drive single off the top of the fence by Cody Wilkie, fanned the side.
South Whidbey threatened in the third when it got the first two runners aboard, but Runkle pitched out of the jam.
Trisler and Morrow each had two hits, while Bailey, Roberts, Runkle, Bryson and Andrew Eaton added singles.
Coach Mebane, talking about the big fourth inning, said, "They finally got comfortable and settled down."
She added, "We got some surprises, some crucial hits from the second half of the order."
Contact Whidbey News Times Sports editor Jim Waller at email@example.com or 360-675-6611 ext. 5060.