The closest thing Falcon Field has for a press box is a green shipping container behind the Woodinville dugout. During games the doors are open, giving players and coaches easy access to baseball-related supplies. It basically serves as a shed for the baseball field.
It was in that container that your trusty correspondent spent much of last Thursday’s game. He (and his Nikon) sought refuge there whenever the steady downpour seemed on the verge of morphing into a monsoon.
Woodinville and Issaquah played on, however, without yielding to the nasty weather. Most impressively, both clubs put on defensive clinics. Heading into the sixth inning, the two teams were tied 0-0.
But when Issaquah’s Lucas Senatore smashed a line drive double to score Tyler Reese, the Eagles broke the scoring ice. Issy would go on to add two more runs, which enabled them to beat Woodinville 3-0.
With the win, Issaquah improved to 7-4 in Kingco 4A, and 8-5 overall. Woodinville fell to 2-10, 3-11.
“[Issaquah] got key hits when they needed them,” Woodinville coach Alan Dillman said. “We had opportunities to score runs and couldn’t get it done. That kid [Senatore] hit a double on an 0-2 pitch and that gave them momentum and got things going for them.”
It may have been in a losing effort, but Woodinville’s pitching and defense were outstanding, per usual. Josh Spencer made several impressive plays at shortstop. Center fielder Jared Gee covered ground fearlessly. And in the fifth inning, catcher Camdyn Munger gunned out a runner who strayed too far from second base.
“Josh Spencer our shortstop flashed his glove which brought my attention to it,” Munger said. “I was able to make a throw to him.”
Despite the constant, cold drizzle, Woodinville starter Matt Kaiser went six innings and gave up only two runs. But in the end, he was outdueled by Issaquah’s Nate Gunderson and Ryan Baker, who combined for a 4-hit shutout.
“The rain impacts the defense a bit because the ball is wet,” Coach Dillman said. “The ball skips on the turf instead of a true roll, because it’s a wet surface. Is it an excuse? No. It just changes the way the kids go about their business.”
In the team meeting following the game, Dillman offered encouragement to his kids. He told them he is seeing massive improvement in the past two weeks.
“I take my hat off to how hard these guys work,” Dillman said. “They keep coming out and giving me everything they have. I love how these guys practice and how they compete. I like this team a lot. I wish the scoreboard and standings were better for them for how hard they’ve worked. But it’ll come. It’s a good group and it will come around for them.”
“I feel like we do have a lot of confidence right now,” Camdyn Munger said. “We realize the potential we have and we’re working hard at practice. We’re hungry to get out there and get after it.”