Big bats help Medical Lake sweep Kettle Falls
Cards take on Freeman in huge doubleheader Friday
The Medical Lake baseball team keeps finding a way to win and it’s kept them within striking distance of Northeast A League-leading Freeman.
The Cardinals (8-2 NEA, 9-2 overall) completed a week in which they went 3-1 by scoring a doubleheader sweep of Kettle Falls last Saturday, winning 8-3 and 18-9. This after a 5-3 loss at Lakeside this past Wednesday and a 6-5 win at home over Riverside.
A huge showdown looms Friday at Medical Lake when Freeman (10-0, 10-1) visits for the first game of a doubleheader starting at 3 p.m. The Scotties own a two-game lead in the standings and an earlier 4-2 win over the Cards.
In Saturday’s opener Medical Lake strung together three consecutive run-scoring innings. Joe Sica and Cole Soliday got RBIs in the second as Medical Lake took a 2-1 lead. A Soliday hit got him another pair of RBIs in ML’s four-run third, pushing the Cards to a 6-2 lead.
Medical Lake got their seventh run without the aide of a hit in the fourth as Tristen Keith walked, advanced on a passed ball and groundout before scoring on a fielder’s choice. ML capped scoring when Roman Kissack walked with two outs and ultimately scored on a single by Breydon Hale.
Wagner pitched six innings to get the win and improve his record to 4-1. He also went 2-for-4 with a pair of RBIs. Hale also had two RBIs on his 2-for-3 game at the plate.
Medical Lake got a fast start, scoring seven runs in the first two innings and appeared on the way to a rout, until Kettle Falls answered with an eight-run third and led 8-7.
But the Cardinals bounced back, as they have much of the season. In the big Bulldog inning, “It was just one of those innings where we just could not get an out,” Kelly said.
“We finally got out of it, made a pitching change, brought in Hale and he just did a great job the rest of the game,” Kelly said. “And the bats came alive to support him.”
Singles by Kissack and Tyler Munden, followed by an RBI double by Hudson Petek evened it at 8-8. Medical Lake finished with a flurry, notching four runs in the fifth as Keith doubled, Hale reached on an error, Munden’s single drove in Kissack and Hale and then Jayln Musser’s base hit drove in Munden and Medical Lake exited the inning leading with a 12-9 lead.
The Cards’ six-run sixth was started with a Cory Wagner double which gave him a perfect 4-for-4 day at the plate. Keith, Dylan Rushfelt, Kissack, Hale, Petek and Wagner each singled as Medical Lake batted around. Rushfelt had three RBIs on a 2-for-4 day at the plate. Keith and Kissack, both 4-for-5, had two RBIs. Munden’s 3-for-4 day produced another pair of RBIs.
“It’s funny, (you) get a couple of hits, you get a couple of bloops that fall and we run the bases aggressively, get a few breaks and you put up a big number,” Kelly said.
The game was yet another big confidence builder for team that features just two seniors.
“We really needed to do that,” Kelly said. ”Even though we’ve been winning we have not played to our potential yet.”
At Lakeside Tucker Anderson’s 2-RBI triple in the fourth keyed a three-run inning that ultimately decided the game.
“They played a heck of a ballgame,” Kelly said. ”We certainly didn’t get any breaks.” Medical Lake had a couple of times they hit the ball really well, Kelly said, “But they made good plays.”
Medical Lake used a gutsy play in the bottom of the seventh to win against Riverside. Hale laid down a suicide squeeze with one out in the bottom of the seventh, scoring Petek. Connor Cranston had a pair of ML’s six hits.
Paul Delaney can be reached at email@example.com.