South Whidbey’s baseball team defeated Coupeville, 7-3, on Saturday afternoon.
The win came on the heels of two losses to Archbishop Murphy on March 30 and April 1. Despite playing three games in four days, with many of its players and coaches still battling or recovering from illnesses that swept through the team, the Falcons fought their way to a solid victory, head coach Tom Fallon said.
“It was nice to get back on the horse,” Fallon said. “I’m happy with the way they played. They did what we hoped they would do and that’s just playing clean ball.”
Falcon senior pitcher Ricky Muzzy pitched six innings for South Whidbey, yielding one run and two hits. He was equally dominant at the plate, recording an RBI triple and a single while also scoring two runs. Juniors Austin Sterba and Connor Antich also contributed multi-hit games.
“Up and down the lineup, we were hitting very well,” Fallon said.
The Falcons jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning before adding four more runs in the third and fourth innings. South Whidbey mitigated any attempts at a comeback by the Wolves, thanks to the Falcons’ infield and outfield play. Fallon added that because of Muzzy’s solid performance pitching, the Falcons were stronger on defense.
“It was nice because it kept the defense in the game,” Fallon said. “He did a great job. He just threw strikes and trusted the defense and that’s what we’re about.”
Antich closed out the game in the seventh inning on the mound, making a diving grab for the final out.
The Falcons and Wolves shared a barbecue feast after the game, which is a testament to the relationships the two teams have built over the years playing in summer leagues together, Fallon said.
The quick start to the game was something the Falcons weren’t accustomed to after playing Archbishop Murphy. South Whidbey trailed 3-1 after the first inning in both games, which Fallon said dramatically changes the dynamics of coaching and playing the game. Fallon said the goal with the Wildcats, who are first in league at 6-0 and 7-1 overall, was to make sure they competed at a high level. Fallon felt the Falcons did that, but made too many mistakes on defense to make it a winning effort.
South Whidbey is currently 4-4 overall and 2-4 in league.
Statistically, the Falcons are doing better than they were this time last year. Despite eventually finishing second at the class 1A state championships, the Falcons were 2-7 midway through the 2014-15 season. The Falcons current record is an indication of the team’s progression, Fallon said.
“The record doesn’t mean a whole lot – we want to continue to play better baseball,” Fallon said. “I think its just continuing on the path and getting better and learning those lessons.”
The Falcons currently sit behind Archbishop Murphy, Cedar Park Christian, Granite Falls, Lakewood and Cedarcrest in the league standings. The Falcons play at Cedar Park Christian, a class 1A team that will impact South Whidbey’s postseason seeding, April 11. They play the Eagles at home April 13 and again on the road April 15.