By Neil Macdonald
Blaine stopped by White Salmon
Blaine finished the 2002 baseball season with a 19-6 record, the winner of the North Cascades Conference Most Valuable Player award and their name in the record book as one of four teams tied for fifth place in State competition.
The Borderites 19th win involved Blaines 5-0 shutout over the Vashon Island Pirates on Saturday morning, May 18. Their 6th loss came that evening when the White Salmon Bruins defeated Blaine 9-6 in the winner-to-State, loser-out regional final.
The NCC MVP is Borderite Craig Anderson, shortstop and part-time pitcher of the closer kind. Anderson hit .482, with 10 RBIs, 13 extra-base hits (including two homers), 27 runs scored and 13 stolen bases. Mound-wise, Anderson had a 2-0 win-loss record, one save, 18 strikeouts and a 4.41 ERA.
Blaines Grant Sanders was named NCC second team pitcher. Grant posted a 3-1 win-loss record, 1.36 ERA, and struck out 41.
The fifth place finish resulted from Blaines fine play and the peculiarities of high school baseball. The game a day for four days State tournament format isnt an option for prep baseball. High school rosters are seven or eight pitchers short of being able to play yesterday, today and tomorrow. The team in each district who makes the final game of their regional tourney (in Blaines case, the White Salmon game) ends in a technical tie for fifth place in the State.
It was a great accomplishment for this group. They didnt have much experience at the start and were forced to learn a lot of things in a hurry, coach Gary Clausen noted, Im not talking about physical errors we all make them. Im talking about mental errors, not understanding what to do at the plate and such.
Sanders got the 5-0 shutout versus Vashon, scattering five hits, striking out five and walking two. The Bs scored two in the first. Anderson walked, Sanders doubled him to third and Ryan Pike sent them home with a two-run single. Blaine turned two hit batters and singles by Anderson, Sanders and Pike into three more runs in the fifth.
White Salmons speed got the Bruins six infield hits and pressured Blaine into more than one of their seven errors. Blaine led 6-4 going into the White Salmon fourth when three straight Borderite errors helped the Bruins score three runs to go ahead 7-6. White Salmon scored two more in the fifth. Bruin reliever John Bryan shut the Bs down in the fifth, sixth and seventh to get the save. .
best bet at State games
Blaines Becky Riddle, Nik McGee and Kit Schumann will represent Blaine at the Class 2A State track and field championships on May 23-25 at Eastern Washington University in Cheney.
Riddle qualified by winning the girls discus and shot put at the 2A District 1 track and field championship meet at Sultan on May 17. Qualified? Perhaps, over-qualified would be a better bit of verbiage. Riddle sent the discus for a spin of 132 feet, 11 inches 17 feet and a cloud of dust further the runner-up throw of 115-5 by Meridians Cassie Braaten. Becky put the shot 41 feet, 2 inches 6 feet, 9 inches beyond the 34-5 toss by Nooksack Valleys runner-up Porcia Jackson.
McGee finished second in the boys shot with a put of 53-11 and Kit Schumann was second in the boys pole vault with a height of 11-0.
Riddle is Blaines best bet for gold at State. The University of Utah recruit has the appropriate track record for optimism. She was 6th in the discus with a 116-8 throw and 7th in the shot with a 35-1.5 toss at State in 2001. Her 41-2 put at District this year would have won in 2001 and would have set a record for 2A State finals. Her discus distance would have placed her second at State in 2001.
McGee placed 7th in the shot with a 49-1 put at State in 2001. McGee has a good shot (pun intended) at placing in the top three or four at State. His 53-11 at District would have placed him 2nd at State in 2001 and in 2000. Schumanns 11-foot vault would place him 12th at State in 2001.
bat buzzes as Lady Bs fastpitch season ends
Blaines 2002 fastpitch season ended on May 18 at Sedro Woolley as the Lady Bs lost 5-2 to Nooksack Valley and 7-5 to Meridian in the double elimination District 1 tournament.
After NV went up 1-0 in the second, Alisa Burk evened it in the third with a shot of the intercontinental ballistic missile kind to left field. Burks blast over the left-fielders head soared close to forever over, coming to ground in the fenceless outfield somewhere on the edge of Skagit County. Meanwhile, Burk circled the bases for a home run.
The Pioneers, aided by a couple of Blaine errors, put four runs across the plate in the fourth to go up 5-1.
Krista Walter, who went 3-for-7 on the day, singled and scored Blaines other run in the fifth. It came on a hard-hit shot down the line by Kristina Francis that bounded off a diving Pioneer left-fielders glove. If the ball hadnt been impeded by LF leather, it would probably have been a second home run for the Lady Bs.
In the Meridian game, Jynessa Trennepohl singled and scored on an error to put Blaine up 1-0 in the second. After the Lady Trojans scored two to jump ahead 2-1 in the third, Sirita Lawson doubled and scored on a Burk single to tie things at 2-2. Meridian cobbled together two walks, two errors, a fielders choice and a hit for the oppositions other four-run fourth of the day.
The Lady Bs got two back in their half of the fourth on a pass ball and singles by Lacy Cheatwood and Holly Steckler. Burk tripled home Lawson, who had singled, with Blaines final run in the seventh.
Blaine reached District by finishing sixth in the NCC regular season standings despite losing their final three regular season games. Two of these defeats, 3-0 to Mt. Baker on May 10 at Deming and 7-0 to Nooksack on May 8 at the Pipe, were of the one-hit variety. MBs Karly Postlewait hurled the eighth one-hitter of her career and her eighth shutout of the season in the May 10 tilt, Jennifer Pike getting Blaines only hit. In the Pioneer game, Alisa Burk spoiled NVs Kristina Wilburns bid for a no-no with a two-out single in the first.
Blaines Kate Lawrenson went 2-for-4 in girls singles tennis action at the West Central District 1, 3, 4 Tri-Di State 2A qualifying tournament at Pacific West Tennis in Federal Way on May 16.
Lawrenson, who finished fourth, lost 4-6, 3-6 in the tourneys opening round, rallied to defeat her next two opponents 7-5, 6-4 and 7-5, 6-3, but dropped the consolation encounter for third place 2-6, 3-6 and the final West Central Tri-Di slot at State.
Borderite Scott Bianchi won the first round of boys singles 6-1, 4-6, 6-1, but lost rounds two and three 4-6, 4-6 and 1-6, 6-7 (6-0) to finish fourth and miss State. Blaines double pair of Jack Freal and Lucas Werdal were two and out in pairs competition.
Close, but No Gigar
Blaine pro Chris Jorgensen, who finished seventh, shot 71 - one stroke too many to qualify for advancement to the U.S. Open sectionals in a local qualifying round at Oakbrook Golf and Country Club in Lakewood on May 17.