Baseball: Coupeville wins 10-9, moves on to tri-district

The Coupeville baseball team will travel to Seattle Christian Tuesday, May 11, at 4 p.m. for the first round of tri-district play.

The Wolves earned the trip by defeating Nooksack Valley 10-9 Saturday at Pipeline Fields in Blaine. The win gave Coupeville the third, and final, seed into the tri-district.

Earlier Saturday Coupeville fell to Meridian 7-1. The Trojans then topped Friday Harbor 4-3 to take first. The Wolverines stopped Nooksack Valley 6-4 to earn the right to play Meridian for the title.

If the Wolves win at Seattle Christian (10-7), they will play Bellevue Christian (15-5) at Sehome in Bellingham (15-5) Saturday, May 15 at 3 p.m. That winner will qualify for the regional tournament in Moses Lake May 22. All of the games are single elimination.

Meridian 7, Coupeville 1

Although the Wolves lost, coach Willie Smith said J.D. Wilcox pitched his "best game of the year." The senior gave up seven hits, recorded nine strikeouts and walked just one. He was also the victim of five unearned runs and mother nature.

Coupeville was down 2-0 in the fourth when the Trojans loaded the bases with two outs. A fly ball to right field was lost in the sun and all three runs scored. Meridian scored another run in the fifth in similar fashion.

Coupeville 10, Nooksack Valley 9

The Wolves jumped to a 3-1 lead, but the Pioneers scored two in the third and two more in the fourth to go up 5-3. Then came the game's turning point, according to coach Willie Smith. His team trudged off the field and looked defeated after the Wolves gave up the lead. He challenged his team to fight back and they responded. Smith said, "It was nice to see the seniors lead the way."

Wilcox started the fifth with a single, Erik King followed with a two-run home run and Coupeville took off on a five-run inning for an 8-5 lead.

Alex McClain's two-run single in the sixth made it 10-5, and from that point it was "hold on time" because Nooksack Valley wasn't through.

Smith said his son Ian, the Coupeville pitcher, had a "weird game." He added, "He threw well at times and kept them off balance, but he also walked 10."

Ian Smith's wildness came in bunches. He walked three in the first inning, but escaped with allowing just one run.

He wasn't so lucky in the sixth.

With two outs he loaded the bases with walks then gave up a base hit. Chad Brookhouse came in in relief and gave up another hit, which narrowed the gap to 10-8. The next hitter lined out to McClain in center and Coupeville escaped with the lead.

In the seventh, the Pioneers lead off with a double. The runner moved to third on an out.

Wilcox then made a stellar play at short stop to minimize the damage. He back-handed a ball in the hole and nipped the runner at first to keep the tying run off base. The runner on third scored on the play.

Brookhouse K'ed the next batter on a full count to end the game and keep Coupeville's season alive.

Coach Smith praised the play of the bottom of the order in the win as they collected 10 of Coupeville's 13 hits.

McClain was 3-for-4 for the game and 4-for-7 for the day.

Brookhouse also went 3-for-4 against the Pioneers and finished 4-for-5 for the day.

King finished with three hits and had a double to go along with his home run.

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