Big game goes south big time for Falcons

Senior Josh Coleman slaps hands after hitting his second home run of the day Wednesday to put the Falcons up 11-2. Unfortunately, the lead wasn
Senior Josh Coleman slaps hands after hitting his second home run of the day Wednesday to put the Falcons up 11-2. Unfortunately, the lead wasn't big enough -- visiting Lakewood scored 10 in the next inning and went on to win 13-12.
— image credit: Matt Johnson

After Josh Coleman hit his second home run of the game Wednesday, every player in the the South Whidbey dugout walked or ran to home plate to congratulate him.

Coleman's shot to center field just cleared the fence, but it went just far enough to put two more runs on the scoreboard and take the score to 11-2 in favor of the Falcons over visiting Lakewood. But as the Falcons were slapping hands to celebrate one of the finest power-hitting performances by a South Whidbey hitter ever, trouble was brewing.

Apparently either undeterred or inspired by the huge scoring gap -- which was one run from ending the game in the fourth inning on the 10-run mercy rule -- the Cougars stormed back against two young South Whidbey pitchers to tally 10 runs in the fifth and take a lead that would win the game.

Between the scoring, the Cougars' big inning, Coleman's home runs and seven South Whidbey errors, Falcon coach Dave Guetlin rightly labelled the contest as the "wildest" of the season.

Everything started right for the Falcons. Offensively, South Whidbey brought runners across in three of the first four innings. Coleman was the engine behind the team's first 11 runs, hammering five hits in five times at bat with two home runs and five RBIs. Behind him, Danny Mulcahy added three hits, while Andrew Hosmer and Dane Guetlin slapped out two hits each.

Defensively, sophomore pitcher Dustin Sidhu held the Cougars to just two runs in the first four innings. He got good help in the field during those opening innings as only one ball -- a hard slap that went off Dane Guetlin's glove at shortstop -- truly got through the defense and allowed the Cougars to put runs on the board.

But in the fifth, seven hits off Sidhu and freshman reliever Logan Hanna and a big batch of errors gave Lakewood players the opening they needed for a comeback.

South Whidbey did manage to tie the game in the seventh inning when Mulcahy came home in the midst of the confusion of a double play. But the Cougars got the winning run in the eighth, then stranded a potential tying South Whidbey runner on third to end the game.

The Falcons are now 4-9 in North Cascades Conference play, while Lakewood is 8-5.

South Whidbey finishes the home season against Nooksack Valley on Tuesday. Varsity play starts at 4:30 p.m.

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