Coupeville Legion wins Skagit invite tournament

In almost a mirror image of a game played earlier this season, the Coupeville Junior Legion A baseball team rallied from behind to defeat Oak Harbor, 5-4 — this time to win the Skagit Dreamfield Invitational.

“Two island teams duked it out again,” Coupeville assistant Ryan O’Keefe said.

Just as it did in the first meeting of the season, Oak Harbor jumped out to an early lead over Coupeville, going up 4-0 in the first inning.

Jordan Young recorded the big hit for the Wildcats in the first with a two-run RBI double. Brian Nelson and Andrew Bighouse also added RBI singles.

Coupeville countered with two runs of its own in the bottom of the inning and the score stayed the same until the sixth and final inning.

In need of two runs to tie, Coupeville had an answer. Casey Larson drilled a one-out RBI single to left and went to second on a throw to home. Larson then stole third and scored the tying run on a sacrifice fly from Alex Evans to send the game into extra innings.

Due to tournament rules there wasn’t a traditional extra-inning situation. Instead, each team got to start with a runner on second and the usual three available outs. Oak Harbor failed to score in its extra inning attempt and Coupeville struck quickly.

With runner Jarrod Murdy on second, Coupeville loaded the bases with a single and a walk. Brian Miller, who hadn’t had a hit in the previous three tournament games, came through big with his first hit to score the game-winning run.

Murdy also had a big game for Coupeville going 3-for-4 with two doubles and two RBI.

Coupeville won all four of its tournament games, beating Mount Vernon, 7-0, Stanwood, 11-1 and Lynden, 3-2.

All four starting pitchers, Zach Hauser, Kyle Wilcox, Evans and Murdy pitched complete games in the wins.

Coupeville played solid defense all tournament, only committing three errors in four games.

“There were too many good plays to mention,” O’Keefe said. “Everyone that played contributed in some way to our wins.”

Oak Harbor started the three-day tournament with a 3-2 win over Ferndale. They then lost 4-1 to Friday Harbor, before beating Maple Valley 5-4 to get to the championship.

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