National captures third place in Seniors
South Highline National battled a long ways back but not all the way, taking third place after a postseason ending 17-12 loss to Rainier in the District 7 Senior All Star Tournament at Highline East Sunday.
Manager Ron Dickneite spoke to the players after the loss to Rainier, a team from the southeast area of Seattle by Boeing Field.
"Give yourselves a round of applause," said Dickneite. "You played one heck of a tournament. I'm telling you, we took that first loss against West Seattle and everyone thought we'd be out quickly. We came back. There is nothing to be more proud of than coming back and battling."
Battle SHN did. After taking it in the shorts the first game, 15-5, to West Seattle, SHN came back with a 9-8 win over South Highline American then beat West Seattle the second time around, 10-8, before this loss.
This game featured a lot of offense, starting with SHN which rattled the bats right after Rainier started off with a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the first. In the SHN top of two, Craig Vanderbos singled. Jeremy Scull drew a walk, as did Steve Champion. Andre DeFils drew a bases-loaded walk and then walked in Vanderbos. Leadoff hitter Giovanni Bonifacio came to the place and collected an RBI and then Timothy Lau followed suit with RBIs. Samson Jaramillo-King notched a couple RBI as did Chris Lange, who also had three home runs for the tournament. All that damage was an 8-4 comeback lead for SHN, momentarily.
Rainier came right back in the bottom of the fourth and scored enough runs to take a 10-8 lead before SHN scored a couple in the top of five on a dropped ball in center field and a couple walks that forced in runners and it was tied. Then, right after that, Scull scurried a ball slicing away from the right fielder and two runners scored and it was 12-10, SHN.
That was supposed to be the runs that would give SHN the driver's seat position, so to speak, in this game. Scull would have liked it, getting the game-winning RBI.
"It was close," said Scull of his getting the game ball..
It was close again, that is, score wise, wheen Rainier notched it at 12-12 in the bottom of the fifth. The foe scored two runs on one hit and one big low throw to first base from the shortstop area that allowed two runners to circle the bases from second and third respectively.
SHn came up short in the top of the sixth, a lead off walk became a pickoff by the Rainier pitcher. Then a single and subsequent stolen base by Bonafacio was made a moot point when the next two batters grounded out and struck out next in line.
Rainier inflicted the damage in the bottom of the sixth, scoring five runs on two hits. For the game, SHN had eight hits and Rainier had 10 hits.
This game came down to no regular starters able to pitch for SHN which used up their pitching in the back-to-back-to-back games to get to this game.
"That's what made us lose," said Dickneite. "We were out of pitching. Vanderbos gave us four good innings. He averaged 15 pitches per inning."
But then when he left all the starters had pitched earlier games in the week and were spent up or arms were sore so they couldn't be used.
Still SHN had thdt 12-10 lead on Scull's nice poke to right before Rainier came storming back one last time.
"We were up, I thought we had it in the bag," said Dickneite.
Just losing that very first game and going through the loser bracket is a way not many teams come out of because of the extra games played.