Redmond’s road to Safeco Field just got a whole lot tougher.
By virtue of losing the 4A Kingco championship game 7-5 to Bothell last Thursday, Redmond — ranked No. 2 in the state in the final Class 4A baseball poll — will have to travel to Spokane for the first two games of the state tournament on Saturday.
And if that wasn’t tough enough, the Mustangs will likely have to beat No. 1 Richland, the defending state champion, and No. 3 University Prep to get to Safeco Field for the state semifinals.
Redmond had a chance to avoid all of this and travel to Kent for the first two rounds of the state tournament, but Redmond couldn’t hold a 5-4 lead and gave up three runs in the top of the seventh to Bothell in the 4A Kingco championship game.
Now Redmond plays either Richland or University, depending on the outcome of a pigtail game between Wenatchee and Central Valley (CV) on Tuesday, played after the Reporter’s deadline, in a state opener at 1 p.m. at Gonzaga Prep. If Wenatchee won, Redmond plays Richmonad. If CV won, Redmond plays University.
If Redmond wins its first-round game, it will play the winner of the other matchup at 4 p.m.
A much tougher road than anticipated, but Redmond head coach Dan Pudwill said the Mustangs will be ready for anyone.
“We are one of the last 16 teams standing,” Pudwill said. “I know they have a lot of great teams over on the east side of the mountains, and
Richland won the state championship last year and they are always there and they are really good. But I think we have as good of a shot as anybody else.”
Redmond looked to be in control in the later innings of the Kingco championship game before giving up the lead in a classic postseason game. Redmond trailed 4-1 in the fifth inning when Tim Wilson and Marcus Flynn singled to center, bringing clean-up hitter Landon Morris to the plate. The right fielder jacked his sixth home run of the season, a line drive shot over the left field fence, to tie the game up.
The game remained tied in the sixth and appeared likely to go to the seventh with two outs and an 0-2 count on the Mustangs No. 9 hitter, Scott Herman. But Herman battled back and ended up walking, and courtesy runner Matt Kimmel stole second on an 0-2 count to Wilson. On the next pitch, Wilson singled to center, easily scoring Kimmel and giving Redmond a 5-4 lead.
An odd seventh inning spoiled the comeback bid. After an out, Bothell pinch hitter Alex Reynolds was hit with a fastball in the head, immediately hitting the ground. He laid on the ground for eight minutes with medical staff and coaches over him, and while he would end up being helped to his feet and being walked off the field, he did go to the hospital. Bothell coach Paul Moody said afterward he was hit above the left eye, but the belief was he would be okay.
The delay may have cost the Mustangs, as Bothell would end up getting the next three on base and score three runs, thanks to two wild pitches and a passed ball on a third strike.
Pudwill said the team is “not going to make an excuse,” regarding the delay affecting the team. “It is what it is.”
Redmond would bring up the tying run in the seventh but could do no harm.
The loss sends the Mustangs to the east side of the Mountains, which Pudwill said wouldn’t be so bad except that Saturday is an important social night for the seniors
“The big stumbling block is that’s their prom,” Pudwill said. “So that’s the issue. It’s not the site. It’s not the teams. It’s none on that. We’ll play anybody in the state. But it’s their prom night. That’s the unfortunate part.”
Christopher A. Smith can be reached at email@example.com or 425-867-0353 ext. 5054.