Sports

Falcons lose, but throw a scare into unbeaten Murphy

Falcon pitcher Hunter Rawls throws a strike to a Wildcat opponent in the third inning Wednesday. The boys lost 11-5, and Archbishop Murphy preserved its undefeated record. - Jeff VanDerford / The Record
Falcon pitcher Hunter Rawls throws a strike to a Wildcat opponent in the third inning Wednesday. The boys lost 11-5, and Archbishop Murphy preserved its undefeated record.
— image credit: Jeff VanDerford / The Record

The Falcon baseball team came up short Wednesday, losing to undefeated Archbishop Murphy 11-5.

It was the second loss in the three-game series, but earlier in the week South Whidbey came up with what Falcon coach Dave Guetlin called a “moral victory,” though they lost 6-5.

“There just wasn’t enough,” Guetlin said of Wednesday’s game. The Falcons dropped another hard-fought contest to top-ranked Archbishop Murphy (perfect at 14-0). The Falcons played well in the game, but just could not keep the Wildcats off the board.

Murphy picked up a lone run in the top of the first inning, but the Falcons came storming back to pick up three runs and take a 3-1 advantage.

South Whidbey’s Robert Kirby got things going with a one-out double down the left-field line. After back-to-back walks to Nick Tenuta and Trapper Rawls, Colton Wilson drove in two runs with a single down the left field line.

Wildcat pitcher Casey Robinett then kept the Falcon hitters at bay from the second to the seventh inning.

In the final stretch, Falcon Duck Hanna got things moving with a one-out walk and Lucas Yale followed by getting to first on a Wildcat error. Then Tenuta drove in both runners with a base hit to left. It was just too little, too late.

Relief pitchers Hunter Rawls and Hanna turned in fine efforts on the mound. Hanna threw the last three innings and shut out the high-powered Murphy offense, making his first varsity appearance on the mound.

“We just made too many errors and that killed us,” said pitcher Adam Babcock, who was relieved in the second inning. “Because of what I consider some bad calls, I was forced to throw fastballs, and the Murphy hitters knew what to expect.”

Babcock added that, despite Murphy’s reputation, the Falcons can compete with anyone in the league.

Trapper Rawls said it was really tough after coming so close the previous Monday.

“In my opinion, ATM has always been overrated,” he said. “They have great talent, but they’re beatable. We have a terrific ball club, but haven’t jelled yet.”

Rawls emphasized that his teammates needs to approach each game with a positive attitude and the determination to play their hardest.

“The games coming up are important for us to get back on track,” he added.

Wilson noted that the Falcons simply didn’t string together the hits when they were needed.

Two days earlier, the Falcons threw a serious scare into the Wildcats, coming within a single run of spoiling Murphy’s undefeated season.

South Whidbey lost 6-5, the closest any team has gotten to winning this season.

The Wildcats picked up four runs in the first inning with a little bit of controversy.

“Three Wildcat hitters were hit by pitches,” Guetlin said. “A total of five Murphy hitters were hit. Rules state that hitters are to make every effort to get out of the way and not try to be hit. It appeared Murphy hitters were not making that attempt.”

With the score 4-0, Falcon starting pitcher Jon Adams settled down and threw a great game, scattering seven hits and walking only one batter.

In the Falcon second inning, with one out, Adams walked and was followed by a Hanna single to right. Mick Poynter then picked up the first Falcon run of the day with an RBI single to right field.

The third inning started with a Kirby double down the left field line. Kirby moved to third on a Tenuta infield single, then scored on a single by Trapper Rawls.

In the top of the fifth, Yale led off with a single to center, then promptly stole both second and third base. Trapper Rawls then picked up his second RBI of the day with his second single of the game.

In the sixth, Adams picked up his second hit of the day with a lead-off single to left field. David Woodbury then doubled to left centerfield, putting runners on second and third. Poynter then picked up his second RBI with another single, platting Eric Sparks who was running for Adams. Yale then made it a one-run game by knocking in Woodbury from third.

Tenuta led the second inning with a walk, then was tagged on a double play to end the game.

“Jon did a fantastic job on the mound, but we couldn’t hold their best hitters and that was the difference,” Wilson said.

The Falcon baseball team begins a three-game series against the Granite Falls Tigers at 4 p.m. Monday, April 27 at Falcon Field.

Jeff VanDerford can be reached at 221-5300 or sports@southwhidbeyrecord.com.

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