Coming one game short of qualifying for the state tournament, the South Whidbey High School baseball team lost 5-2 to Overlake in a bi-district elimination game Saturday, May 11, at Bellingham’s Sehome High School.
The Falcons finished the season with an 18-5 record, second-place in the North Sound Conference and fifth in the bi-district playoffs.
Cedar Park Christian, whom South Whidbey split four games with this season, won the bi-district title, thumping Meridian 12-0 Saturday.
After defeating South Whidbey Saturday, Overlake lost to University Prep 3-1 in the game for third and fourth places. The top four teams earned state tournament berths.
The Falcons beat University Prep 7-0 and Overlake 7-1 during the regular season.
Overlake 5, South Whidbey 2
When the Falcons topped Overlake two weeks ago in a non-league game, they did not face the Owls’ ace Matt Hwang.
In Saturday’s bi-district clash, South Whidbey’s best opportunities to get to Hwang came early.
The Falcons did score twice in the second inning, but left the bases loaded. They also left two runners stranded in the first inning.
Hwang then toughened as the game progressed, allowing only four base runners over the final five innings.
Overlake took an early lead with one run off Falcon starter Ethan Petty in the second inning. Andrew Hom singled, went to second on a sacrifice bunt, moved to third on a base hit by Alex Hartnett and scored on a wild pitch.
South Whidbey countered with two runs in the bottom half of the inning.
Dexter Jokinen started the inning with a single. A wild throw to second base in an attempt to cut down Jokinen on Nick Black’s bunt allowed both runners to be safe. Another error on Luke Rookstool’s bunt loaded the bases.
Jokinen was thrown out at the plate on Petty’s grounder to second for the first out. Alex Black then squeezed home his brother Nick to tie the game. After Drew Fry’s grounder forced Rookstool at home, Kody Newman walked with the bases loaded to give the Falcons the lead.
South Whidbey held that 2-1 advantage until the fifth when the Owls scored four runs.
A single, walk and double steal set up Jon Campbell’s two-run single. Campbell then scored on a pair of South Whidbey errors. Hartnett later doubled to plate the Owls’ fifth run.
South Whidbey’s best opportunity to score after the second came in the fourth inning. A lead-off single was erased when the runner unfortunately slipped on the turf and was picked off first. The next batter walked and was thrown out in a steal attempt.
In the sixth, the Nick Black and Rookstool both walked with two outs, but South Whidbey couldn’t muster a clutch hit.
Falcon coach Tom Fallon told his players after the game to not let the loss define their outstanding season.
“We had a good year,” he said. “It’s hard to complain.”