The student news site of Everett Community College in Everett, Washington

The Clipper

The student news site of Everett Community College in Everett, Washington

The Clipper

The student news site of Everett Community College in Everett, Washington

The Clipper

Welter’s strong outing not enough in 13-inning loss

Sam Whitney
Welter finished the season with a 3.59 ERA over 42.2 innings with 38 strikeouts.

Facing Spokane Saturday afternoon, the Trojans needed a win to keep their championship hopes, and their season, alive.

After a scoreless top of the first from freshman lefty Landon Welter, the Trojans offense opened the scoring early on a Carson Burns RBI fielder’s choice.

Working with a lead, Welter retired the side in order in each of his next two innings with a strikeout mixed in.

With the score still 1-0 in Everett’s favor, the southpaw encountered his first patch of trouble after allowing back-to-back one-out singles in the fourth.

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Then, Spokane’s fifth-place hitter made a bid for a third straight hit with a line drive just in front of left fielder Baylor Hill.

Hill looked as if he might have a play on the ball, but had to pull up and play it on a hop. The runner on first base recognized this too late and got a sluggish break for second.

Hill got the ball in quickly to shortstop Axel Puls, and Puls, heeding the dugout’s shouts of “Two! Two!” wheeled around and threw to second baseman Micah Coleman for a big second out that prevented a bases-loaded jam.

Two pitches later, Welter induced a lineout to center field and ended the inning unscathed.

The Trojans lineup took advantage of the momentum swing the next half-inning, as Welter’s batterymate (and roommate) Jake Lockwood drove an RBI double off the wall in left-center field to double the Everett lead.

“I was just looking for a fastball up,” Lockwood said. “It felt so good, especially for our sophomores, who were working really hard and are really good leaders.”

Following a walk drawn by Hill, center fielder Colin Beazizo stepped to the plate with two out and two on for what would be a deciding moment in the game.

Beazizo flared a soft line drive down the third base line.

The Sasquatch third baseman made a lunging attempt at the ball but couldn’t come down with it, chasing after it into foul territory on a dead sprint.

Lockwood came around to score. Except he didn’t. The third base umpire had ruled the ball foul.

Typically, one does not sprint after a foul ball. So why do so in this case?

The Trojans alleged that the third baseman’s glove had made contact with the ball while the third baseman himself was in fair territory, thus making the ball fair.

The third baseman’s behavior seemed to support this idea. Still, even after replay review, the foul call stood, Beazizo flew out to center field on the next pitch, and a potential Trojans run was wiped off the board.

For a while, it seemed like the controversial ruling wouldn’t matter, as Welter cruised through six scoreless innings, making the 2-0 lead hold up, in large part due to his catcher, Lockwood.

Lockwood collected his sixth RBI on his second double of the season on Saturday. (Sam Whitney)

“There’s nobody else I’d rather have catch me,” Welter said. “I want him calling my game. I have full faith in what he does for me.”

With the seventh inning came trouble. After sitting down the leadoff batter, Welter allowed a single and a double to put the tying runs in scoring position with one out.

Suddenly in a tight spot, Head Coach Keith Hessler called on AJ Hendrickson, who had pitched three perfect innings to earn the save in the Trojans’ first game of the tournament.

A lineout to third for the second out of the inning drastically improved Hendrickson’s chance of escaping the inning with his team’s lead intact.

Then, Spokane’s two-hole hitter poked a single up the middle. Beazizo came up firing, but his throw to the plate was late and the game was tied.

From there, Spokane went to its bullpen, and the pitching duel was on. Despite opportunities for each side, the game remained tied into extra innings.

In the top of the 10th, Blake Sandvik took over for the Trojans and immediately found himself in a one-out jam with runners on second and third.

Facing the Sasquatch cleanup hitter, Sandvik got a sharp one-hopper right back to him on the mound.

With the runner from third hung up, Sandivk threw slightly high to catcher Nate Davis. Davis corralled it and chased the runner toward third.

Davis applied the tag for the second out, and then noticed the runner from second was caught between second and third, and threw behind him to Coleman.

Coleman ran the runner toward third and threw to Puls, who put the tag on him for a rather unconventional inning-ending double play, scored 1-2-4-6.

After that, neither team got anything going until Sandvik again found himself in trouble in the top of the 13th.

With one out and a runner on second, Sandvik picked up a strikeout for the second out, but couldn’t wiggle all the way out of the jam this time and gave up a two-out go-ahead single.

Trailing for the first time all game, the Trojans went down in order in the bottom of the inning and were eliminated.

Despite the season not coming to the end the team desired, it wasn’t for lack of trying.

“The scoreboard doesn’t go that high, 13, 14 innings, whatever it was,” Hessler said. “That’s what led to our success this season, was never quitting.”

In the end, Hessler’s team can head home knowing they gave it their all and left everything they had, including some postgame tears, on David B. Story Field in Longview.

“Fighters. Simple as that. That’s the mentality we have, it’s the mentality we’ll keep.”

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About the Contributor
Sam Whitney
Sam Whitney, Managing Editor of Content
What is your dream job? My ultimate dream job would be to work as an analytical sportswriter for or FanGraphs, breaking down aspects of baseball and sharing my passion for the game with others. It would also be awesome if I could somehow work my way into a front office job with an MLB organization. When you aren't doing things for the Clipper, what can you be found doing? Away from the Clipper, I can often be found reading or watching anything baseball-related that I can find. Otherwise, I might be spending time with friends, playing with my dog Cashmere, or reading about history. And sleeping. Lots of sleeping. Which historical or fictitious figure do you most identify with?  The fictitious figure I like to identify with is Steve Harrington from Stranger Things. I may not always be the sharpest tool in the shed, but I have my moments, and I'm protective of those I care about and I'm there for them when it counts.

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