Redmond Mustangs pitcher Landon Thompson brought his “A” game in the most important contest of the 2018 season on the diamond.
Thompson unleashed a complete-game shutout on the hill, surrendering a meager four hits and no runs propelling the Mustangs to a 3-0 win against the Bellevue Wolverines in a loser-out, KingCo 3A playoff game on May 1 at Bannerwood Park in Bellevue.
Thompson struck out Bellevue hitter Chase Santora for the final out of the game in the bottom of the seventh inning. Redmond improved its overall record to 9-11 with the victory. Bellevue finished the 2018 season with a record of 9-10.
Redmond head coach Dan Pudwill said Thompson was able to keep Bellevue’s batters off balance the entire night.
“Landon is so good. He is so unflappable and nothing seems to bother him. He locates and mixes his pitches so well,” Pudwill said.
The defense behind Thompson played flawlessly against Bellevue. With the game tied at 0-0 in the bottom of the fourth, Redmond centerfielder Yui Suzuki made a diving catch for the third and final out of the inning, preventing an RBI single by Bellevue hitter Michael Fernandez that would had scored Trent Gertz from third base. In the bottom of the sixth, Redmond second baseman Darek Khabani made a diving catch on a ground ball to his right side before throwing out Bellevue baserunner Ben Anger at first base.
“We were able to make those defensive plays behind him (Thompson). The catch in center field saved a run,” Pudwill said of Suzuki’s sensational grab.
Thompson has complete faith in the defense behind him.
“Yui out there in center field really saved my butt. The defense just helps our team a lot. It really does,” Thompson said.
Going the distance on the hill is something Thompson takes immense pride in. Especially with his team’s season on the line like it was against Bellevue.
“Personally I thought I would go the whole way. I got a lot of confidence in myself. I like to believe that I’m the best (pitcher) on the field,” he said.
Redmond scored all three of its runs in the top of the sixth. With the bases loaded and one out in the top of the sixth, Redmond hitter Hunter Sullivan connected on a grounder to Bellevue’s infield. A Bellevue infielder fielded the ball and fired to first base for the potential force out at home plate.
Unfortunately for the Wolverines, the umpire called catcher interference on Fernandez (Bellevue catcher), which allowed Redmond baserunner Nick Holt to score, giving Redmond a 1-0 lead. Later in the inning, Suzuki scored on a passed ball, extending Redmond’s lead to 2-0. The Mustangs pushed their third run across the plate after Calvin Cadman drew a walk with the bases loaded, scoring Connor Barison from third base for a 3-0 advantage.
Bellevue head coach Tate Seefried was gracious in defeat following the season finale for his squad.
“They had a couple of really good defensive plays and we had a couple of bad breaks. We gave up three (runs) in one inning. Their pitcher (Thompson) did outstanding. He kept us off balance. We really couldn’t get a really good swing at him and we left a lot of guys on base. We always play these guys tough,” Seefried said. “It is always a one or two-run game. Hats off to them. They played well tonight.”
Redmond will face the No. 1-seeded Mercer Island Islanders in a KingCo 3A playoff game at 7 p.m. on May 3 at Bannerwood Park.