Arlington baseball bounces back, advances to state

After losing its first game of the year, Arlington’s baseball team rebounded Wednesday beating Meadowdale 4-3 to advance to the state tournament for the fourth-straight year.

Arlington plays Edmonds-Woodway at 10 a.m. Saturday at Funko Field in Everett for third place in 3A District 1.

The Eagles lost to Shorewood 3-1 Tuesday, setting up the must-win game.

After the loss, Eagle coach Scott Striegel told the team that their goal of going to state still was within their grasp. “I think these kids showed their true colors and they showed their character,” he told The Herald.

Owen Bishop was the winning pitcher Wednesday, striking out 12 in 5 1/3 innings. He gave up the three runs, but they were unearned.

Andrew Smith stood out at the plate with a ground ball RBI and a double. Cameron Smith smashed an RBI triple, and Michael Tsoukalas added an RBI single.

In the loss to Shorewood, the Eagles were fooled by the off-speed pitching of lefty Kenji Miller, who struck out seven, walked two and hit a batter, giving up just five hits in the seven innings

On the other side, the Thunderbirds ripped Eagle ace Cameron Smith, who had only given up two runs and 10 hits all season. For only the fourth time this year, Arlington gave up more than 1 run. They outscored their opponents 163-18 on the season. In the first inning, after Smith walked two, Kevin Hirohata hit a high fly ball into deep right center that should have been the third out. But the Eagle outfielders lost it in the sun, and it dropped in for a double. The damage could have been worse, but catcher Jack Sheward picked off a runner at first.

Arlington tied it in the bottom of the inning when Sheward lined one to rightfield that sliced away from the diving Shorewood fielder and Sheward ended up with an inside-the-park home run.

In the second, Simon Shutts crushed one off the leftfield wall for a double and scored on a single up the middle. Eagle rightfielder Tsoukalas ran a long way to make a catch near first base to minimize the damage.

In the third, Kaiden Graves smashed a double to right-center over the outfielders’ heads then scored on another hard grounder up the middle.

Shorewood threatened again in the fifth but Eagle centerfielder Bishop threw the runner out at the plate. The T-birds then loaded the bases, but a tough play by shortstop Paul Chung again kept them from scoring.

Bishop hit a two-out single in the bottom of the inning, but was thrown out at second trying to steal.

In their last at-bat, Cole Warner hit a bunt single and Chung followed with a two-strike bunt single. But a strike out and ground out ended the game.

Arlington advanced to that game by beating Oak Harbor 10-0 in six innings at home Saturday. Bishop pitched a two-hitter, striking out eight.

Andrew Smith went 3-for-4 with a double and 3 RBI. Chung, Warner and Bishop all went 2-3 with Warner knocking in a run and Bishop hitting in two to go along with a double.

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