The Lake Washington High School baseball players saw every inch of the baseball as it hurled toward home plate against Central Kitsap Saturday during the first round of the state playoffs in Kent. Ten of the Kangs’ runs were scored via the long ball, as they clobbered the Cougars 14-6. But the Lake Washington players lost track of the seams and their hopes of a state title during a second-round loss to Puyallup later that night with a 9-5 loss, which ended their season.
“During the preseason we definitely felt we had one of the deepest teams,” said Kangs’ head coach Derek Bingham. “This is quite a day. You can’t rest.”
Lake Washington was wide awake for the team’s first game, scoring the first run on a wild pitch during the first inning. But 4A KingCo MVP and starting pitcher Christian Kaiser ran into some trouble during the second and third innings, giving up four runs. Bingham had a reliever go to warm up, just as Kaiser wriggled out of a scoring threat.
Lake Washington got those runs back quickly as Alex Potts clubbed the ball over the left-field wall with two runners on to tie the game. Potts finished 4-for-4 with a homerun and five RBI.
Three pitches later, Eric Folkers blasted a home run to nearly the same spot for a two-run homer and a 6-4 lead. Folkers finished the contest with two home runs and five RBI.
“State is definitely a good time to have a game like this,” said Folkers, who had a two home-run game against Newport earlier this season. “It’s definitely something to remember.”
Kaiser regained his composure and finished off five-and-a-third innings, while Blake Lively added an opposite-field home run during the fourth inning.
The elation from the playoff victory wore off fast as the Kangs saw an early 1-0 lead dissolve against the Vikings. Puyallup’s seven-run third inning buried Lake Washington despite three Viking errors.
Lake Washington finished the regular season with an 11-4 record, winning the Crown conference and the KingCo tournament title. The win against Central Kitsap placed the Kangs in the top 16 in Washington State.