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Falcons kick back — and win their final game
LANGLEY — The South Whidbey baseball team ended its 2009 season with a 9-6 win over the Granite Falls Tigers before a huge, appreciative crowd at Falcon Field on Friday.
“It was a nice way to finish the year, I guess,” said senior Nick Tenuta. “Not making the playoffs wasn’t what any of us had in mind when the season began.”
The Falcons ended with a Cascade Conference record of 6-12, and were 7-12 overall. The Tigers (9-9) move ahead to face a Northwest League team next week.
South Whidbey needed to sweep the three-game series to qualify for a playoff berth, but ended up two wins shy.
On April 27, the team lost 13-11. Tenuta batted 2-for-4 with a home run and a triple for South Whidbey. Falcon Jon Adams had a double and home run and senior Cameron Shipley’s first varsity hit was a three-run home run. Colton Wilson also hit a solo home run for the Falcons.
At Granite Falls on April 29, the boys dropped a close one, 5-4.
The Falcons were ahead by a couple runs early on, but the Tigers roared back in the fifth inning. Tiger Max Whitt hit an RBI single in the bottom of the seventh inning, and Colton Patterson hit the game-winning single in the eighth with two outs and the bases loaded for the win.
Finally on Friday, with the pressure off, the Falcons relaxed and played for the love of the game and the support of their loyal fans.
Wilson batted three-for-four with a double and four RBIs, and Luke Hodson pitched a compete game, keeping Granite Falls to two runs in the first six innings to earn his fourth win of the season.
Tenuta said he was nervous playing second base; his usual outpost is in center field.
“Eric (Sparks) was injured so I filled in, hoping no one would hit a ball my way,” he said.
Hodson said everyone’s attitude relaxed when they realized the season was about over.
“I felt comfortable on the mound, especially knowing it might be my last game ever,” he recalled. “I didn’t want to leave anything out there.”
For Wilson, who battled cancer in his leg the past two years, the season was a nice comeback.
“It gave me a chance to prove myself, to show I still had it,” he said. “It’s how we should have played all year, with focus and intensity. The last game could have never ended, and that would have been fine with me.”
He plans to attend Everett Community College in the fall, an excellent school for both academics and baseball.
Seniors recognized before the game for their years playing for South Whidbey on Falcon Field included Adams, Hodson, Shipley, Sparks, Tenuta, Wilson Adam Babcock, Mick Poynter, Trapper Rawls and Lucas Yale.