Charles Wright bumps South Whidbey baseball in extra innings

A seesaw baseball game between South Whidbey and Charles Wright Academy tilted the Tacoma team’s way in an extra-inning affair Tuesday, 8-7.

South Whidbey, an underdog in the 1A tri-district tournament, led much of the game. Charles Wright Academy tied the game in the sixth inning at 5-5.

In the top of the seventh, South Whidbey had a runner on base and senior Jack Lewis at the plate. Lewis jacked a two-run homer to center field to lift the Falcons, 7-5.

“We really thought that was the momentum to put us over the top,” said Falcon head coach Tom Fallon.

“We played a really good game … Defensively we didn’t hurt ourselves.”

Needing three outs, the Falcons took the field ready for an unlikely victory. This Disney tale didn’t go South Whidbey’s way.

The Falcons allowed two runners on base on consecutive “questionable” walks, as Fallon called them. A couple hits later and the game was tied 7-7. A heroic throw from center field by junior Jake Sladky to throw out a runner at the plate forced an extra inning to determine the outcome. South Whidbey pitchers, led by Brent Piehler, allowed only one other walk the entire game.

Charles Wright Academy’s ace pitcher, whom Fallon said has a scholarship offer to play baseball for Wake Forest University, retired the side in the top of the eighth.

Then the home team won the game in the eighth, 8-7.

“It was a tough one to take,” Fallon said. “But the experience we earned is only going to carry the program forward. No one felt satisfied by not continuing.”

South Whidbey finished its season 7-11 in Cascade Conference play and 9-15 overall. Their record put them in fifth place in the league standings just behind Granite Falls, which owned the league tiebreaker.

The Falcons lose three seniors from the squad and will return much of its varsity lineup. That portends well for the future of the program, Fallon said, when so many young players have playoff experience and even a dramatic playoff elimination.

“They believe they can win now,” Fallon said. “We were in every single game we played in, basically.”

“We’ll have more confidence in the young guys next year.”

Lewis went 1-for-3 with the two-run homer. Senior catcher Aaron Curfman batted 3-for-4 with four scores and a double. Sladky hit 2-for-4. Piehler was 1-for-3 with a double.


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