Monday, May 26, 2014

Tritons Claim NWAACC Title

Edmonds celebrates its 2014 NWAACC Title
Lane Box | Bellevue Box | Photos

LONGVIEW __ Tyler Baker’s RBI single in the bottom of the eighth inning plated the game-winning run as Edmonds held on to beat Northern Division rival Bellevue 7-6 in the title game of the NWAACC Baseball Championship on David Story Field Monday at Lower Columbia College.

Edmonds, which won its seventh title and first since 2008, finished 39-8. Bellevue finished 28-23.

Earlier in the day, Edmonds beat Lane 9-2 behind another solid pitching performance from lefty Zach Johnson who picked up his 10th win of the year. That outcome pushed the Tritons into the 11th title game appearance in school history. The victory also avenged Edmonds’ 6-5 loss to Bellevue in the tournament on Saturday.

“Our mantra all season was returning to the NWAACC tournament,” Edmonds coach Scott Kelly said. “We feel we should be here every year.”

Kelly said his players took to the idea, resulting in winning the Northern Division title. Edmonds also won the North Region tournament by sweeping three games there, including two against the Bulldogs.

“They really held onto it, battled all season and got things done,” he said. “This is a special team of guys who really liked each other a lot. They have a lot of character, and it was fun to show up every day and be with them.”

Edmonds jumped on Bellevue starter Alex Hatch for four runs in the second inning. Chris Osborne and Conor Plaisance slapped singles, Ryan Budnick and Jamie Umbinetti each coaxed walks, and Ryan Archibald hit a two-run double down the left field line before the first out was recorded.

Tournament MVP Chris Osborne and Coach of the Year Scott Kelly.
Osborne, who finished 4-for-4, was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.

“I had a good tournament,” said Osborne, who hit .500 with five RBIs. “I looked for pitches to hit, I did my job and it felt good.”

Bellevue scored twice in the fifth inning highlighted by RBI singles from Brady Kerr and Alex Check, and tied the game at 4-4 in the sixth inning following singles from Nate Anderson, Nick Pribble and Brady Kerr.

The Bulldogs pulled ahead 5-4 in the seventh when Anderson hit an RBI double to left-center field, but Edmonds answered with two runs in the bottom of the inning. TC Florentine clubbed a two-out triple into the right field corner, and came home on a base hit from Ryan Budnick. Four pitches later, Budnick scampered home after Osborne hit his fourth single of the game.

An obscure rule violation during the seventh inning resulted in the ejection of Bellevue coach Mark Yoshino. The Bulldogs’ skipper visited his pitcher, Alex Hatch, on the mound after Hatch threw his first pitch to Osborne. Two pitches later, Yoshino went back out to the mound to pull Hatch in favor of reliever Brandon Mahovlich.

What Yoshino didn’t realize was a rule which states he can’t visit the mound twice during the same at-bat. Hatch threw two more pitches to Osborne, one of which resulted in an RBI single, before he was lifted for Mahovlich.

“Apparently the umpires knew the rule because I’m not smart enough to think of that,” Kelly said with a chuckle. “We caught a break on that one. It’s unfortunate, but a great break for us.”

Bellevue tied the game at 6-6 in the eighth with an RBI single from Check, but the Tritons ahead for good in the bottom of the eighth on Baker’s RBI single.

“Bellevue’s a good club which is well-coached,” Kelly said. “We knew if we got up four runs they wouldn’t quit and would come back and give us everything we could handle.”

Edmonds finished with 12 hits, including two from Budnick.

“I knew we’d have more offense at the end of the game, and I hoped it would come in time to pull us through,” Osborne said. “Our pitching was going to hold them off.”

Matt Becker scattered seven hits and struck out four through five innings before yielding to Andrew Kemmerer, who allowed eight hits through three innings for the win. DJ Oliver allowed one hit in the ninth for the save.

Kerr went 4 for 4 to lead Bellevue’s 16-hit attack. Check was 3 for 5 with two RBIs, and Anderson was 3 for 5 with a double.

2014 NWAACC All-Tournament Team
MVP:   Chris Osborne, Edmonds
Catcher: Brady Kerr, Bellevue
Erik Long, Lane
Aaron Stroosma, Bellevue
Reed Johnson, Tacoma
Jarren Goddard, Lane
Jamie Umbinetti, Edmonds
Ryan Budnick, Edmonds
Spencer Smith, Lane
Kurt Lindemann, Bellevue
Joakim Soderqvist, Bellevue
Matt Becker, Edmonds
Zach Johnson, Edmonds
Aaron Sanderfur, Bellevue
Ryan Schmitten, Pierce

Andrew Kemmerer, Edmonds

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