After the Oak Harbor High School baseball team frustrated Arlington over five innings, the Eagles finally broke through to win 2-1 Tuesday, March 18, on the Wildcats' diamond.
Time and again Arlington (1-1) had opportunities to score in the first five innings, but Oak Harbor, thanks in a large part to Clay Doughty, came up with the big play when it needed it to thwart the Eagles' chances.
In the first inning, left fielder Doughty gunned down a run at the plate.
In the second, Arlington led with a double but couldn't push the runner home.
In the third, an Eagle runner was picked off first by Oak Harbor starter Teddy Peterschmidt. The next hitter ripped a gapper that most likely would have driven in the run.
Arlington had a runner at third with one out in the fourth but hit into a line-drive double play.
Then in the fifth, Arlington loaded the bases with no outs but Peterschmidt wiggled out of the jam.
To add to Arlington's frustration, Oak Harbor had just one real scoring chance in the first five innings and converted. With two outs in the third, Nate Stanford reached first when strike three eluded the catcher. Kevin Johnson and Brent Mertins followed with singles to score Stanford.
Oak Harbor, which had only one hit off Ryan Walker up to that point, wouldn't get another until the seventh inning.
Arlington finally scored when it led off the sixth with back-to-back doubles. Doughty limited the damage by cutting down another would-be run with his second strike to the plate.
Doughty wasn't through. With one out in the seventh, an Eagle tried to stretch a single into a double, but Doughty nailed him at second, saving a run because the next hitter tripled. That hitter, however, scored the winning run on an infield hit off reliever Jozef Mendoza.
Oak Harbor tried to rally in the bottom of the seventh. With two outs, C.J. Meders and Danny Wolfe singled and Casiano Atienza reached on an error to load the bases, but a ground out ended the game.
Oak Harbor finished with only four hits, two by Mertins.
The Wildcats (0-1) go to Bellingham's Joe Martin Stadium twice this week for two more non-league games, first facing Bellingham High (1-0) at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, March 20. Saturday the Wildcats play Sehome (0-3) at noon.