Islanders can't overcome early deficit in KingCo opener | Prep baseball

Mercer Island catcher Keegan Ogard confers with pitcher Aidan Plummer during the Islanders
Mercer Island catcher Keegan Ogard confers with pitcher Aidan Plummer during the Islanders' KingCo opener against Lake Washington Friday, April 4 at Lee Johnson Field. The Islanders lost, 7-4.
— image credit: Joseph Livarchik/Mercer Island Reporter

It was a rough start to KingCo competition for Mercer Island baseball on Friday night. After giving up six runs in the first two innings of its KingCo opener against Lake Washington, the Islanders fell into a deficit they couldn't overcome, losing to the Kangs 7-4 at Lee Johnson Field. The loss dropped Mercer Island to 2-3 overall on the season.


Despite the Kangs extending its lead to 7-0 in the third inning, Mercer Island managed to hang around, rallying for two runs in both the sixth and seventh innings to give the Kangs one last scare. But it was too little, too late.


"We have to make sure we go about our business the same way, regardless of the score," said coach Dominic Woody after the game. "I thought we started pretty positive, then we got kind of sucker-punched, got down 4-0, 6-0. In the last few innings, you kind of get back to it, but it's a little bit too late in that point in time. You got to make sure you're chipping away earlier."


Jake Stenberg went 2-3 and batted in a run for Mercer Island, while Aidan Plummer went 1-2 with two runs batted in and pitched five innings in relief for the Islanders.


Lake Washington's starting pitcher and leadoff hitter Connor Johnson set the tone early for the Kangs, pitching a 1-2-3 inning in the top of the first and then leading off the bottom of the inning with a double en route to a four-run inning. But after pouncing on the Islanders early, the Kangs began to ease off, allowing the Islanders back into the game.


"If you look at the end of the game, they only had one more run than us," said Woody. "We've just got to make sure that when we come out here, we're ready to rock and roll from the very first pitch."

When asked what takeaways he had from his team's KingCo opener, Woody mentioned the way the Islanders went about the end of the game.


"We could've shut it down at 7-0. We ended up coming back and almost getting it to one swing right there. If Keegan got on base, we're one swing away from tying it up. Hopefully we can take those last couple innings and use that momentum going forward."


Next for Mercer Island will be a matchup with Sammamish at 6 p.m. Monday, April 7 at Island Crest Park.


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