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A streak to savor
South Whidbey smallball history was made Wednesday at Lakewood High School.
On the road against the Cougars Wednesday, the Falcon boys used cunning at the plate and on the basepaths and another brilliant Ben Schultz pitching performance to win 4.2 and take a school record sixth game in a row during the front half a of doubleheader. They also won the second game of the pair, punishing Lakewood 12-6, even though they fell behind 5-0 in the first inning.
Now 8-2, the Falcons have their best early-season record in years. But in spite of the milestone win, Falcon Coach Dave Guetlin said his players are keeping the excitement they feel under wraps, knowing there are some tough games coming up.
"We're trying to keep it on an even keel," he said.
Wednesday's first game, though it was a tighter affair than some recent blowout South Whidbey victories, showed off the team's best play. The Falcons got ahead early on two second-inning runs. With two out, junior Josh Coleman drew a walk, then stole second to put himself in scoring position. Schultz, who was already working plenty hard on the mound, zipped a double past the defense to send Coleman home. He himself crossed the plate when senior Chris Hahn singled.
Lakewood came back to tie the score in the fifth inning at two runs apiece. But in the sixth, a lead-off single from Brady Switzer, followed by another from Coleman and a Bryan Wenker RBI single, broke the knot.
That was all Schultz needed to win from his pitcher's perch. He allowed only five hits in the complete-game victory as he cruised to a 4-1 record.
The Falcons picked up an insurance run in the seventh when Switzer came home on another Bryan Wenker single.
Wenker, Schultz and Switzer each picked up two hits in the game. Dane Guetlin also saw extra bases when he hit a double.
In the day's second game, it was the batters who did the trick. Freshman pitcher Stephan Kolbo got dinged for five runs in the first before settling down for the next three innings. But the hitters brought the Falcons back with four runs in the second inning, three in the third and five in the fifth. Hahn went 3-for-3 in the game, while Guetlin was 2-for-4 with a double and three RBIs. Freshman Michael Osburn also handled the varsity heat with a 2-for-3 performance at the plate. Junior Michael Berry was 2-for-2 with two RBIs in the game.
The Falcons meet their biggest challenge of the season Monday when Nooksack Valley comes to town. Undefeated, the Pioneers lead in the North Cascade Conference standings.