Friday, June 14, 2024
52.0°F

Walk-off sends Mavs over Wenatchee

by IAN BIVONA
Sports Reporter | April 27, 2024 10:32 AM

MOSES LAKE — After tying the ballgame in the bottom of the ninth, Moses Lake earned a walk-off win over Wenatchee to sweep the Panthers in Friday’s doubleheader, winning 3-2 after defeating Wenatchee 10-1 earlier in the day.

“It’s been the same all year — whether we come off wins, come off losses, these guys are ready to go,” Moses Lake head coach Donnie Lindgren said. “Sometimes it works out for us and sometimes it doesn’t; we’ve had some struggles swinging it, but they worked hard in practice all week and were ready to go today.”

Wenatchee scored two runs in the top of the first inning of the nightcap to claim its first lead of the evening. The Panthers held a 2-0 lead through the bottom of the seventh inning, as the Mavericks struggled to put together and capitalize on scoring opportunities. 

Lindgren credited the team’s dugout for keeping a positive mentality.

“Our dugout kept us in it, really,” Lindgren said. “Our guys were in it, they were supporting the guys that were playing the whole time. Every time we’d come in, they were like, ‘We’re going to score, we’re going to score!’ Dagen Enquist, a young freshman, he kept us in it.”

After base hits by junior Wyatt Cole and junior Kase Martinez, combined with junior Cooper Hancock being hit by a pitch, senior Nolan Betz was walked with the bases loaded to give Moses Lake its first run of the game. With senior Jayce Stuart at the plate for the next at-bat, the senior singled on a bunt while pinch runner Adrian Martinez scored to tie the game. 

“New pitchers coming in, he’s got to throw a fastball for a strike to let you know that he’s there,” Stuart said. “Just do your job and get it down. Be tough.”

After a scoreless eighth inning, junior Kason Whitaker got on base after being hit by a pitch in the first at-bat of the bottom of the ninth. Senior Nolan Crawford was subbed in as a courtesy runner and stole second during an at-bat by Adrian Martinez. 

Martinez bunted on the next pitch, and the ball was thrown to third base to tag out Crawford; however, the ball missed the mark, setting up the senior to score the game-winning run.

“Donnie (Lindgren) put the drag bunt on, and I was like ‘Oh shoot, I’m not going to make it to third,” Crawford said. “As soon as I saw the baseball get behind the third baseman, I was home. I’m just going to run.”

Teammates swarmed Crawford at home plate, later moving to celebrate with Adrian Martinez. 

“It was an amazing experience,” Crawford said. “Definitely on senior night, (it’s) nice to remember.”

On the mound, Enquist pitched seven innings and surrendered two hits, one walk and two earned runs while striking out eight Wenatchee batters. 

“Just my approach, my mentality,” Enquist said of what changed after the first inning. “I attacked the zone a lot better.”

In the first game of Friday’s doubleheader, the Maverick bats caught fire en route to a 10-hit, 10-1 win over the Panthers. Junior Jackson Carlos led the Mavs with three hits, while freshman Jacoby Fulbright and sophomore Noah Hernandez both drove in two runs. 

“We just started barreling up the ball and putting the ball in play,” Lindgren said. “Taking advantage of some mistakes and things. We came ready to play, had a couple of adjustments in the lineup and moved some guys to different spots — gave some guys a chance that didn’t have a chance yet, and they came through.”

Friday’s wins snapped a three-game losing skid for Moses Lake. The Mavs were swept by Davis in a doubleheader April 19 and lost 2-1 to Wenatchee on Tuesday.

“Coming off those three straight losses, we knew we had to do a job,” Stuart said. “We all had to focus on what we had to do individually and put that together as a team. All our pitchers pitched a phenomenal last three games — we obviously just had to get more hits, and they came around for us.”

Moses Lake begins its final series of the regular season at home against West Valley (Yakima). The Mavericks and Eastmont both post 11-4 records in Big 9 matchups this season, while Davis and the Rams are one and two games back, respectively.

“It’s huge — it’s for first or second place, just going to depend on what happens with Davis and Eastmont,” Lindgren said. “... It’s a dogfight between all four of us. Anybody can beat anybody.”

Between games in Friday’s doubleheader, Moses Lake’s senior class was honored. Betz, Stuart, Crawford and senior Willem Jansen will all graduate this spring.

“They’re going to be very successful in life, and I’m proud to have been a part of their lives,” Lindgren said.

Ian Bivona may be reached at ibivona@columbiabasinherald.com

Box score

Game One

WNTC: 0-0-0-1-0-0-0 1
MSLK: 2-1-0-2-0-5-X 10

Game Two

WNTC: 2-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0 2
MSLK: 0-0-0-0-0-0-2-0-1 3


    Moses Lake senior Nolan Crawford starts to slide into third base in the bottom of the ninth inning against Wenatchee. Crawford scored the game-winning run on the same play, reaching home plate after a passed ball got past the Panther third baseman.
 
 
    Moses Lake senior Nolan Betz, right, tosses the ball back to first base for an out against Wenatchee.
 
 
    Moses Lake senior Jayce Stuart swings at the ball during an at-bat in Friday’s nightcap against Wenatchee. Stuart delivered the game-tying run in the bottom of the seventh to send the game to extra innings.
 
 
    Moses Lake senior Willem Jansen leans forward to catch a fly ball in the outfield in the top of the eighth inning.