Inglemoor continued its magical run through the 4A KingCo baseball tournament with an 8-4 win over Newport on Saturday at Bannerwood Park in Bellevue.
The Viks will face Skyline in the championship game at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Bannerwood. The winner advances to the state tourney. Inglemoor (11-11 overall) is the sixth seed and Skyline (14-7 overall) is the first seed.
Skyline defeated Issaquah, 10-2, on Saturday.
Leading the way with their bats for Inglemoor were Sean Mulcare with three hits and two RBIs, Nathan Schuh with two hits and three RBIs and Zac Tuss with one hit and one RBI.
The game was tied 1-1 after three innings, then Inglemoor notched three runs in the top of the fourth. Newport answered with three in the bottom of the sixth, and Inglemoor went ahead for good with four in the top of the seventh.
Inglemoor head coach Craig Bishop said that when teams get hot in the tourney, the title is up for grabs. He feels the squads were all evenly matched and he’s enjoyed not only the competitive aspect of the games, but the friendly interaction with the other KingCo coaches.
It’s been a roller-coaster ride for the Viks this season.
“We’ve had our ups and downs, but ultimately, the goal is to play your best at the end. I think we’ve accomplished that,” said Bishop, noting that a regular-season, 3-2 walkoff eight-inning win over Bothell on April 9 really got the Viks rolling. “We realized we could be there at the end and had the feeling we could compete with anyone in the conference.”
About a month later, Inglemoor defeated Bothell again, 3-1, in the first round of the 4A KingCo baseball tournament on May 4.
Leading the way for Inglemoor this season with their bats, gloves and arms are shortstop and leadoff hitter Mulcare, outfielder/pitcher Tuss, catcher Teddy Bishop, infielder Eunsang Yu and pitchers AJ Baldwin, Garrett Oremus, Will Larsen and Brandon Fothergill.
“I think they are excited with the opportunity. I’m telling them to enjoy the ride, enjoy the moment,” said coach Bishop, noting that the Viks have overcome adversity to rebound from last years’ 1-15 season.
Full-circle moments are in coach Bishop’s grasp with the Inglemoor squad’s accomplishment in reaching the title game.
The Vik skipper coached some of the players on the Northlake Little League U10 all-star team and felt they could develop into players vying for a KingCo crown someday.
Also, Bishop was a senior backup catcher when his Issaquah squad lost to Juanita in the KingCo championship game in 1988 at Bannerwood. Despite the outcome, it was a game Bishop will never forget, and he wants his Inglemoor players to feel the same way about competing in Wednesday’s big contest.