M-P baseball sweeps Snohomish, wins share of league title

MARYSVILLE — You have to hand it to the Tomahawk baseball team — they like to play under pressure.

After defeating Snohomish 7-2 in the first of their two-game series the day before, the Marysville-Pilchuck boys pulled out a 5-4 win in the bottom of the seventh inning April 29, sweeping the defending state champions.

“It’s very cool,” said M-P coach Kurt Koshelnik, of his team’s accomplishment. “That’s our expectation, to go in and give them a good game. As good as Snohomish is, we’ve got something good here too.”

With the win, the Tomahawks are also assured at least a piece of the Wesco North championship, their first since 2004.

Snohomish led first, following a base hit with a home run by leadoff batter Bubba Robbins, taking a 2-0 lead in the top of the third inning. In the bottom of the third, facing two outs, senior third baseman Tyler Holm took a pitch in the elbow, good for first base. He was followed at bat by Austin Denton, who responded with a home run of his own, over the left field fence to tie the game up.

The boys were facing two outs again in the fourth inning when shortstop Steven Shane and left fielder Dane Widness had back-to-back hits, including a triple for Widness, to RBI for a 4-2 lead.

“It’s been a thing all year,” said Holm after the game. “When we have two outs, the whole dugout gets into it.”

Snohomish tied the game in the top of the sixth and had opportunities to take the lead. A Tomahawk error to lead off put a Panther on base and he was batted in on an apparent single in the seven-hole. The batter got the RBI but got greedy going for second base and catcher Casey Keister threw him out for a first out. Two more Snohomish hits tied the game 4-4 with a runner on, but Holm connected with first baseman Devin Peterson for consecutive stops, including a great catch by Peterson on a bouncing throw for the second out.

Junior pitcher Brennen Steinbaugh, who struck out four in six innings, was relieved by sophomore Jake Thomas. The Tomahawks got three outs on three batters, giving them the chance to win with a run in the bottom of the seventh.

Once again, it took an out to get things going, but senior Levi Cartas walked, setting up Holm’s game-winning double.

“Funny thing is, coach gave me the bunt signal, then took it off at the last second,” Holm said. “I was looking for a fastball and got it on the first pitch.”

M-P junior is 5-0 on the mound

MARYSVILLE — Junior pitcher Matt Cooper has been the Tomahawks’ best-kept secret this season, but not for much longer.

After being a key player on last year’s junior varsity squad, the right-handed pitcher has emerged as a force in Wesco North, stringing together wins in all five of his regular-season starts.

The streak began with an 11-1 win at Stanwood and most recently included a 7-2 win at Snohomish, the defending state champions and Cooper is expected to start on the mound in Marysville-Pilchuck’s first game of the district tournament, May 9.

“Coop has been a very, very nice surprise this season,” said coach Kurt Koshelnik. “He did a very nice job pitching JV last year and it’s a big leap to varsity.”

The key to Cooper’s success, according to Koshelnik, is his ability to locate the ball.

“He can locate his fastball on the plate and knows how to waste a pitch when he’s ahead,” the coach added.

M-P is 14-1 in league with a 16-3 record overall.

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