Sumner’s strong run toward the 3A state baseball title was derailed Friday afternoon by one really bad inning.
Lakeside of Seattle broke open a scoreless game by scoring 11 runs in the fifth inning, and the Lions won the 3A semifinal game 11-0 in a game shortened to five innings because of the 10-run rule at Gesa Stadium.
The loss snapped a five-game win streak for the Spartans (20-7), who were coming off a strong regional series last weekend to advance to the Final Four.
“We beat two phenomenal teams (3-1 over Eastside Catholic, and 5-2 over Columbia River) in what I thought was the toughest regionals,” said Sumner coach Casey Adcox. “You can have a great team and not get to the semifinals.”
Adcox says this Sumner team is probably the best offensive team he’s had.
But the Spartans could not touch Lakeside starting pitcher Ben Hinthorne for a run.
Sumner stranded two runners in each of the first three innings.
“We just couldn’t get things going,” said Sumner sophomore Ben Wilson, who had two of the Spartans’ four hits. “(Hinthorne) located the ball pretty well.”
Yet Sumner ace Preston Fullington was matching Hinthorne pitch for pitch through a scoreless first four innings.
And then the top of the fifth came.
Lakeside wasn’t ripping Fullington, but the Lions found some open spots, got a few bunt base hits, and the floodgates opened.
Lakeside sent 17 batters to the plate in the fifth, collecting eight hits, four walks and one hit batter.
When it was over, the Lions scored 11 runs off of three Sumner pitchers.
“It was a tough inning to swallow,” said Adcox. “I was going back to my chart, and nothing was working. But I’m not taking away anything from (Lakeside). Give credit to those guys. They put the ball in play. They got some decent swings on Preston.”
Corbin Carroll, Lakeside’s leadoff hitter, was 3-for-4 with a double and triple, while Ryan Shaw was 2-for-2 with three RBIs.
Hinthorne retired the last seven Sumner batters, including the final three in the bottom of the fifth. He struck out four and gave up just four hits.
“I felt like we had our swings,” said Adcox.
The Spartans have a chance to finish third in the state tournament when they meet Southridge – a 5-4 loser to Lake Washington in the other day’s semifinal – at 10 a.m. Saturday.
Adcox told his players after the game that they get to play again.
“We’ve just got to win tomorrow,” he said. “We’ve got to come together. This group has got a lot of pride.”
And hopefully, short memories.
“We’ve kind of have to forget about this and come out strong tomorrow,” said Wilson.
Lakeside 000 0(11) -- 11 9 1
Sumner 000 00 -- 0 4 1
Ben Hinthorne and Ryan Shaw. Preston Fullington, Gabe Smith (5), Elijah Evers (5) and Jake Gehri. Highlights – Corbin Carroll (L) 3x4, 2B, 3B; Ryan Shaw (L) 2x2, 3 RBIs; Zander Bailey (L) 2B; Ben Wilson (S) 2x2.