This win was special in more ways than one.
The Coupeville High School baseball team recorded a remarkable upset Friday, April 12, stunning visiting South Whidbey 4-3.
First, based on records, the Wolves had no business winning this won. Coupeville, winless in eight league games and 12 overall, knocked off the Falcons that came in with gaudy marks of 10-1 and 13-1. Also, the Falcons easily dispatched Coupeville 12-0 and 8-3 earlier in the week.
Second, Coupeville defeated its top rival, gaining some revenge after the setbacks Monday and Wednesday.
Third, the Wolves, even with a 1-8 league record, stayed in the hunt for a playoff berth. The top four teams move on to the district tournament, and Coupeville (1-8) is a half game out of fourth behind Granite Falls (1-7, 3-10) and Sultan (1-7, 1-12). The Wolves close out the season with three-games series with both. Sultan and the Wolves play in Coupeville at 4 p.m. Monday and Friday, April 15 and 19, and in Sultan Wednesday.
Fourth, it was an offensive “explosion” compared to earlier results this season. The four runs is a season high. The Wolves scored two or few runs in 10 of the previous 12 games.
And, finally, it erased the specter of a winless season.
“It was nice to finally score more than the other guys,” coach Chris Smith said. “I didn’t need that type of dramatic finish, but, yes, it was fun.”
That “dramatic finish” was a two-run rally for the win in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Daniel Olson got things going with a base hit, then Gavin Knoblich moved him to third with another single.
Ulrik Wells dropped down a safety squeeze bunt and reached first safely when the defense focused on Olson at third and did not register an out.
Cody Roberts hit a bases-loaded grounder to the Falcons’ second baseman, but the fielder’s throw home to cut down Olson flew over the catcher’s head and allowed Olson to score the tying run.
After an out, Matt Hilborn rapped a fly ball to center field, which allowed Wells to score the winning run.
It was fitting that Hilborn was the one to drive in the winner. The senior pitched a strong game, keeping the Wolves in the contest.
Hilborn tossed a six-hitter with six strikeouts, three walks and two earned runs.
After the Falcons scored once in the top of the first, Coupeville countered with two runs. Back-to-back doubles by Hawthorne Wolfe and Jake Pease scored the first, then Pease raced home on a pair of passed balls.
South Whidbey scored single runs in the second and fourth to take a 3-2 lead and set up the exciting end.