Baseball: Wolves eliminate LC, advance to semifinals

Forgive Coupeville baseball coach Willie Smith if he couldn’t relax until the last out was recorded in the Wolves’ 6-4 win at Lynden Christian Wednesday, May 5, in the first round of the sub-district tournament.

The last two times Coupeville (11-10) was eliminated in the play-in game, the Lyncs scored in their final at bat to dump the Wolves from the tournament. Last year LC won with a walk-off home run.

In Wednesday’s win, the Wolves spurted to a 5-0 lead and then made their coach sweat to the end as Lynden Christian (3-18) crept back into the game.

The Wolves got three in the third off a two-run double by Kevin Eaton and Sean Thurman’s RBI single.

They added two more in the fourth. J.D. Wilcox started it off with a two-base error; Chad Brookhouse singled him home. Coupeville loaded the bases and Eaton walked to force in a run and pick up his third RBI of the game.

The Wolves scored their final run in the sixth. Chase Griffin reached on a fielder’s choice and then came around to score on singles by Ian Smith and Wilcox.

The Lyncs pecked away with one in the fourth, two in the fifth and another in the sixth.

Lynden Christian, after getting one in the sixth to cut the lead to 6-4, were poised to score more in the inning, but a highlight-reel catch by Alex McClain in deep centerfield stopped the threat and possibly coach Smith’s heart.

Wilcox finished the day 2-for-4 with a double and RBI, and he earned the save in relief of winning pitcher Ian Smith.

Coupeville meets No. 1 seed Meridian Saturday at noon at Blaine’s Pipeline Fields. Nooksack Valley and Friday Harbor square off in the other semi-final game at noon.

The winners of both games will play 30 minutes after the first games to determine the top two seeds going into the tri-district.

The losers will also play 30 minutes after the first games. The winner will get the final tri-district berth; the loser is eliminated.

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