When it was all over, Inglemoor Vikings head coach Craig Bishop tried to escape as his players made a beeline for him near the middle of the infield for a celebration of epic proportions.
Bishop didn’t have a chance.
Members of the Vikings roster succeeded in pouring a congratulatory bucket of ice on Bishop’s back following Inglemoor’s monumental 7-3 victory against the No. 1-seeded Skyline Spartans in the Class 4A KingCo championship game on May 9 at Bannerwood Park in Bellevue. The Vikings clinched a berth in the Class 4A state tournament courtesy of the triumph against Skyline. The Vikings will play Skyview at 1 p.m. Saturday in the state tourney at Everett Memorial Stadium.
“I had been waiting to do that for a long time,” Inglemoor shortstop Sean Mulcare said of leading the effort to dump ice on his head coach.
Things were looking dicey for the Vikings in the early stages of the contest. With the bases loaded in the bottom of the second inning, Skyline junior Alex Brenner connected with a two-RBI single, giving his team a 2-0 lead. The Vikings couldn’t get their bats going in the first four innings of play but that changed in a hurry in the top of the fifth. Inglemoor sent 11 batters to the plate, scoring seven runs in the process to take a commanding 7-2 lead.
Mulcare connected on a three-RBI triple to right field in the inning, giving the Vikings a 4-2 lead. Inglemoor catcher Teddy Bishop also had a two-RBI double later in the top of the fifth, extending the lead to 7-2.
Mulcare was glad he was able to bust the game open with a triple in the top of the fifth. The Vikings trailed the Spartans 2-1 before Mulcare’s huge play.
“It was good because we were down and I just had to stay calm and not try to do too much. I got a 3-2 (full count) changeup. I kind of assumed he (Skyline pitcher Eddie Rosemont) would throw it because I was on top of his fastball. I just stayed back and was able to get the barrel of the bat on it,” Mulcare explained.
Inglemoor finished the game with 13 hits. Viking starting pitcher William Larsen pitched the first six innings and relief pitcher Brandon Fothergill pitched the seventh inning.
Inglemoor head coach Craig Bishop was emotional following the victory against Skyline. In 2017, Bishop said the Vikings finished with a 1-15 record. The transformation on the diamond in a mere 12 months is officially complete. The Vikings were the No. 6 seed in the tournament but didn’t let it stop them from achieving their goal.
“This is a special time for us. Frankly, we didn’t have anything to lose. We felt like going into the tournament that we could play with anybody but we also knew that we achieved a goal to just get to the tournament. Once we got hot, things just kind of rolled from there,” Bishop said.
Bishop said he coached the vast majority of the varsity team when they were on a Little League team in 2010.
“I set a goal back then that I knew they would be capable of winning the KingCo championship but I didn’t believe in a million years that I would be the coach,” Bishop said of coaching the Inglemoor varsity squad. “I have been thinking about this (championship) for a long, long time. This has been an amazing year.”