Islanders defeat Rebels in KingCo 3A title contest on diamond

Mercer Island scores five runs in the first inning.

Things didn’t go according to plan for the Juanita Rebels in the KingCo 3A baseball tournament championship game against the Mercer Island Islanders.

Mercer Island cruised to an 11-1 win against Juanita in six innings on May 5 at Bannerwood Park in Bellevue.

The Islanders set the tone in the bottom of the first inning, putting up five runs on the board. The Islanders are known for their power hitters in the lineup but they decided to take a different approach in the first inning. Of the Islanders’ three hits in the inning, two of the hits came on bunts. Islanders’ leadoff hitter Cole Miller executed a beautiful bunt on the first at bat and Greg Fuchs laid down an excellent bunt as well in the No. 3 spot in the order. The Islanders sent 11 hitters to the plate in the first inning.

“The guys executed the plan perfectly today. We wanted to put some pressure on them (Juanita) with some small ball and we were able to do it,” Islanders’ head coach Dominic Woody said. “Other teams know we can swing the bat 1 through 9 (batting order), so if you keep the defense guessing, it works to your advantage.”

In the minutes following the defeat, Juanita head coach Brian Shannon and his squad had already shifted their focus to the next task at hand. The Rebels will face the Lake Washington Kangaroos at 7 p.m. on May 8 at Bannerwood Park in a loser-out KingCo 3A playoff game.

“We just need to flush this one and come to work at practice on Monday (May 7) and get after it on Tuesday (May 8) against Lake Washington,” Shannon said.

Shannon believes his squad’s pitching staff will step up against Lake Washington.

“Obviously we didn’t get it done on the mound tonight, but I think we’ll bounce back with (Jayson) Schroeder on Tuesday,” Shannon said.

Schroeder, who is a senior, is the projected starting pitcher against LW.