Kentwood pitches in, captures semifinal spot | 4A Baseball
Michael Parrott and Lucas Gately answered the call in relief after ace Taylor Jones was injured as the Conquerors shut out Redmond 5-0.
Special to The Seattle Times
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KENT — When ace pitcher Taylor Jones reached for his strained right groin early in the fourth inning, it looked ominous for Kentwood.
But it was only a call to more arms.
Relievers Michael Parrott and Lucas Gately answered the call in relief to combine for a 5-0 victory over Redmond in a Class 4A regional final at Kent Memorial Park's Art Wright Field on Saturday.
Thanks to strong pitching and solid defense, second-ranked Kentwood (23-2) chases the school's first title since 2010 and third overall.
In the semifinals, the Conquerors meet Beamer of Federal Way at 7 p.m. Friday at Gesa Stadium in Pasco. It's the Conks' seventh appearance in the semifinals.
"I was worried for Taylor, but not really for the team," said Kentwood coach Mark Zender. "We've actually had quite a few injuries this year. This is a very deep high-school team. And, we knew we had Michael Parrott and Lucas Gately and others that we could throw. We're pretty confident in those kids. Obviously, Taylor's a top-of-the-line kid, but having said that, our next kids are above average."
Jones, who has committed to play for Gonzaga, picked up the win, giving up no runs and three hits before exiting with injury. Parrott, a senior, came on with one out in the fourth and allowed one hit in 2-2/3 innings. Gately got the save with two strikeouts in the bottom of the seventh.
"They think Taylor can play next week, but we don't know," Zender said of the 6-foot-3 right-hander. "It's a mild strain of one of his groin muscles. They iced it, and they're taking care of it, and we'll see.
"He probably won't throw a complete game."
The Conks took control with a four-run second inning. Jones started the rally with a line-drive single to center field to lead off and Carson McCord's double to the left-field corner scored pinch-runner Dalton Cryderman from second. Senior Cash McGuire later ripped a two-out, two-run single to left and Skyler Genger drove in the fourth run with a bloop single to center.
"That was a full team effort," said McCord, who finished 4 for 6, two RBI and two runs scored in two regional games. "We were up by five, but it felt like we were only up two with Taylor going down. Michael Parrott came in a did a nice job. We got a big break there."
Junior Reese McGuire, who went 0 for 4 in the Conks' regional opener, bounced back in the regional title game to go 2 for 3 and an RBI. Cash McGuire, Reese's older brother, finished the two regional games 4 for 6 with five RBI for Kentwood.
Redmond (16-9) was led by Cody Beliel's 3-for-4 game. The Mustangs bounced back after an 0-7 start to the season for a strong playoff run.
Kentwood 8, Edmonds-Woodway 3
Cash McGuire pounded three doubles to go 3 for 3 with three RBI and Genger went the distance for a complete-game victory over sixth-ranked Edmonds-Woodway (17-7).
Genger gave up a three-run homer to the Warriors' Jorgen Arnesen in the top of the second and trailed 3-1 before settling down. Genger struck out nine.
Tanner Wessling broke a 3-3 tie in the bottom of the fifth inning with an RBI single as the Conquerors rang up four runs in the rally.
Redmond 6, Kentridge 4, 8 innings
Senior Peyton Lutz, the Mustangs' No. 9 hitter, hit a walkoff run-scoring single over the left fielder's head in the bottom of the eighth inning to score Adam Cline for the victory.
Redmond won for the 16th time in 17 games. The Mustangs fell behind 5-4 in the top of the eighth when Michael Leverenz gave Kentridge (14-9) the lead with a sacrifice fly.
Redmond's eighth-inning rally started with Brent Firth's double. Pinch-hitter Adam Cline then drove a triple just under the glove of diving Chargers center fielder Taylor Poffenroth to score Firth from second to knot the game at 5-5.