Mental mistakes early, combined with a strong pitching performance by Lake Washington ace John Lyon, led to Tumwater’s quest to reach the state title game for a second straight year fall short, losing 10-1 to the Kangaroos during Friday afternoon’s Class 2A baseball state semifinals at Yakima County Stadium.
“They earned it, that’s for sure,” Tumwater coach Jamie Weeks said of Lake Washington.
Tumwater (22-5) will face Anacortes (17-10) in the third/fourth-place game at 10 a.m. Saturday, while the Kangs (18-9) advance to face Ellensburg (20-5) in the 4 p.m. title game.
Lake Washington pounded out 11 hits, including four in the first inning, while John Lyon, who entered the game with a sub-1.00 ERA, threw a complete-game and held the T-Birds to two hits -- an RBI single by Luke Hare in the fourth, which led the the team’s only run, and Keenan Milligan’s fifth-inning double. Milligan’s double was the team’s next-best opportunity to push runs across, Weeks said, but Milligan was stranded at third to end the inning.
Lyons also finished with eight strikeouts, as he retired nine of the final 10 T-Bird batters he faced. He and Connor Johnson each had a pair of hits and RBI to lead the Kangs' offense.
“Our guys couldn’t adjust to him,” Weeks said of Lyon. “We couldn’t make the adjustments when we needed to.”
Leading 2-0 entering the fourth inning, Lake Washington pushed its lead to 6-0 after three hit-by-pitches loaded the bases. Starter Garrett Terrell, Hare and Tanner Angel combined for 12 strike outs, including six by Angel over the final two innings.
Saturday’s results, whether it’s third- or fourth-place will mean the program will earn a state trophy in back-to-back seasons for the first time in school history.
“They’re resilient,” Weeks said. “They’ll bounce back and give a great effort.”