Sports

Baseball: 'Cats fall to Lake Stevens; playoff questions remain

First-place Lake Stevens defeated the visiting Oak Harbor baseball team 10-1 Friday, April 30.

Oak Harbor coach Tyson VanDam said the score “didn’t really reflect the game.”

The Vikings, ranked in the top five in two different state baseball polls, held a slim 3-1 lead heading into the fourth inning. From there, Lake Stevens tacked on seven runs over the next three innings.

Oak Harbor freshman Jack Ritcher made his varsity pitching debut, as did junior Justin Counts who took over in the sixth. Ritcher threw fine, according to VanDam, but was victimized by a few bloop hits and ground balls that snuck through the infield. The pitchers did make a few mistakes, getting the ball up, and the powerful Vikings took advantage and clubbed two late home runs.

Yale Rosen, Pat Higbee and Jay Stout each had two hits for Oak Harbor.

Lake Stevens (13-1, 17-1) and the ‘Cats (6-9, 9-10) finish the regular season Monday, May 3, in Oak Harbor at 4 p.m.

The Wildcats are in the middle of a mad scramble to reach the playoffs. Lake Stevens, Marysville-Pilchuck (14-1, 16-1) and Monroe (10-5, 10-9) are in from the Wesco North. Oak Harbor, Stanwood (6-9, 7-9), Arlington (6-10, 6-13) and Cascade (5-10, 5-14) are all still looking to grab the final two tournament berths heading into Monday’s final league game.

The fourth-place team will advance to next Saturday’s opening round of the double-elimination district tournament. The fifth-place team will play the fourth-place team from the Wesco South Wednesday, May 5, for the right to move on to Saturday.

If there is a tie for fifth, the teams will play off Tuesday to decide which club meets South No. 4 Wednesday.

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