Arlington 76ers finish season strong

Tre Mendenhall jumps back on a pickoff throw to first base.  - Travis Sherer
Tre Mendenhall jumps back on a pickoff throw to first base.
— image credit: Travis Sherer

SNOHOMISH — The 76ers continue stellar play heading into the division tournament.

In a game that featured a little of everything, Arlington’s AA North American Legion team defeated the Snohomish County Steel 10-9, July 14, to finish out the regular season.

“I thought we swung the bat well today, and that was one of the things we have struggled with even in the high school season,” said manager Eric Heinz, who also coaches the Arlington Eagles.

While big hits helped get the 76ers the win, it was a suicide squeeze in the top of the seventh inning that made the difference.

With runners on second and third, Sam Gasser got the bunt down with one out to bring home Clay Trushinsky and tie the score at 9-9.

“We don’t do them very often, but when we do, we get them in,” said Heinz about squeezes, of which he said his team has converted all seven such attempts this season. “And they are usually suicides.”

The 76ers would later take the lead when Marcus McKenzie came around to score a batter later.

The run scored was Trushinsky’s third on the day, as the shortstop was tremendous at the plate against the Steel, going 3-for-3 with a triple, a double, two RBIs and a walk.

“It was good to see him rebound today,” said Heinz. “He was one of our stars coming out of the Pullman tournament, he was hitting everything and knocking everything down at shortstop, but he had a rough week last week.”

Heinz credits much of the 76ers strong play through the season to Austin Taylor, who moved into the third sport in the batting order a few weeks ago.

“Austin has been lights out on the mound,” Heinz said of the southpaw. “And he’s made the adjustment to the No. 3 spot, coming up with about two hits a game.”

The win gives Arlington a 12-10-1 record for the season. The 76ers went 2-2-1 at the Pullman Legion tournament two weeks ago, coming just 90 feet away from playing for the championship.

On the hill for the 76ers against the Steel was Tre Mendenhall, who went 5 1/3 innings, striking out five and allowing seven runs — none of them earned.

Three Arlington errors led to all of the Steel’s runs.

Mendenhall was relieved by Tim Mrazik, who earned the victory, pitching 1 2/3 innings or relief in which he allowed two unearned runs and struck out two.

The Steel head into the division tournament, which begun July 16 at Skagit Valley Community College.

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