Legion tops Bellingham twice

Thanks to a pair of wins over Bellingham, the Oak Harbor/Coupeville AA American Legion baseball team is entering today’s district tournament as the second seed from the north division.

At times this season the squad has struggled against league opponents, but none of that was evident in the games against Bellingham.

Entering the July 12 game, Oak Harbor/Coupeville was in third place in the league and all Bellingham needed was a win on its home field to nail down second place.

Bellingham took a 2-0 lead with a pair of runs in the bottom of the third inning, but the Wildcats answered with four runs in the top of the fourth to take the lead.

Bellingham tied the score in the bottom half of the inning, but Danny Lura smacked a two-run home run in the top of the fifth to give Oak Harbor/Coupeville the victory.

Defense was one of the keys to victory and third baseman Marcus Naymik threw two runners out at home.

David Reilly and James Smith were both 2 for 4 and Lura was 2 for 3.

This victory boosted the Oak Harbor/Coupeville team’s league record to 8-3, tying Bellingham for second place, and setting up Monday’s showdown game.

On Monday, Bellingham took a 2-0 lead over the Wildcats with a pair of runs in the top of the third inning off starting pitcher Zach Hauser.

Oak Harbor/Coupeville answered with three runs in the bottom half of the inning to take a 3-2 lead, only to have Bellingham tie the score with a run in the top of the fourth.

In the bottom of the fifth inning, Johnny Encinas scored what proved to be the winning run on a squeeze bunt by Naymik.

Hauser was 2 for 2 with a double and two runs scored.

Reilly was 2 for 3 with a double and a triple, and Lura was also 2 for 3.

Smith also had a triple and Encinas scored twice.

Oak Harbor/Coupeville finishes the regular season with a 9-3 league record and is 19-10 overall.

The Wildcats play Lake Stevens in the opening round of the district tournament at 4 p.m. today at Volunteer Field in Anacortes.

Other teams in the tournament are Bellingham, Stanwood, Burlington, Arlington, Ferndale and Mount Vernon.

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