Sports Briefs

MI Power makes big splash in Moses Lake

The MI Power 11U and 10U baseball teams continued their tournament success over Father’s Day weekend with another outstanding performance in the Moses Lake Desert Classic baseball tournament. The Mercer Island based teams started fast and finished strong as both teams rolled to 5-0 records and first-place finishes in the tournament.

After playing their best baseball of the season three weeks prior in the Lynden Memorial Day weekend tournament, the boys from Power did their best to give an encore performance. After finishing the season with a 6-13-1 record in the challenging 11-12 age division of Bellevue Pony, the 11U MI Power team stepped up again to show how well the Bellevue league prepares them to play at a high level against their 11U counterparts. During pool play on Saturday, the team defeated Pullman 12-0, Moses Lake 17-3 and Lower Valley 14-3 to finish first in its pod. In the Sunday morning semifinal, the bats stayed hot as the team rolled to a 17-3 victory over Othello. The championship game was a matchup with the No. 1 team from the other pod, the Gig Harbor Riptides. The Power fell behind 2-1 early but a big two-out rally in the second inning was the difference in the game as the team scored six runs (five with two outs) to take a 7-2 lead that was never relinquished. Christopher Lawler keyed the rally with a bases loaded triple to drive in three runs. Sam Peterson closed the game with three strong innings to seal a 9-4 victory.

For the tournament, the 11U team batted .520 with 79 hits and 69 runs scored in five games. Ten of the 11 players on the team had six or more hits and seven kids batted .500 or better for the tournament. Christopher Lawler led the way with 10 hits and 11 runs scored. Jacob Stenberg led the team with 11 RBIs. Stenberg, Arthur McCray and Karsten Sherman each hit home runs during the tournament as well. The defense was also spectacular, committing only four errors over the course of five games.

The 10U team also picked up where it left off in Lynden, Wash. The first game of pool play against the Moses Lake Stars was particularly impressive. Brandon Lawler and Josh Stenberg combined on a 9-0 no-hitter while striking out 16 batters. The team followed the first win with 10-3 and 13-0 victories over Othello and Moses Lake, respectively. After defeating the Red Hawks 11-1 on Sunday morning, the 10U MI Power squad faced Lower Valley for the championship. Behind strong pitching, great defense and a home run by Sam Pugel, the team recorded its third shutout of the tournament and ran away with an 11-0 victory in the final game.

For the tournament, the 10U MI Power team batted .478 with 65 hits and 54 runs scored in five games. Eight players on the team recorded six or more hits for the tournament. Josh Stenberg led the team with a .733 batting average and seven RBIs. Nick Taylor had three extra base hits, including a home run, and scored 10 runs to lead the team in that category. The pitching staff, led by Brandon Lawler, allowed only four runs in five games and recorded 57 of a possible 78 outs by way of strikeout. The Power pitchers walked only six batters over the course of five games.

Mudville SP takes second straight tourney

Relying on pitching, defense, and two dramatic finishes, Mudville SP roared to its second straight baseball tournament championship June 9 through 10 in the Pepsi Challenge at Bucknell Park in Lacey, Wash. The Pepsi Challenge is one of the season’s most prestigious tournament titles, featuring many of the elite teams from Western Washington.

The mostly Mercer Island 12-year-olds opened pool play Saturday morning with a 2-0 loss to the Black Hills All-Stars, getting whitewashed despite stranding nine runners, including five at third base. Pitchers Alex Emanuels, Adam Cline and Andrew Summerville threw a combined three-hitter, allowing no balls to be hit out of the infield after the first inning.

Against the two-time reigning USSSA state champion South Hill Knights, Mudville’s starting pitcher Ben Campbell was nearly perfect through three innings, but Mudville could only convert four hits, two walks, and the bases loaded into a single run. In the fourth, facing Mudville’s dominant 6-foot-3-inch southpaw Lucas Shannon, the Knights battled their way to four runs, but Mudville showed its mettle by surging back, scoring four of their own behind Campbell’s bases-loaded single, to retake the lead 5-4. In the top of the fifth, the Knights pushed across a lead-off walk to forge a 5-5 tie, which held up going to the last inning.

Mudville SP came to its final at-bat with their tournament survival on the line, because a pool-play tie would have been allowed to stand and would have eliminated SP from the medal round. After the first two hitters struck out, Mudville’s last hope rested with Summerville — who calmly lashed a single to center and stole second. Then in a dramatic eight-pitch at-bat with a large crowd gathered, clean-up hitter Brian Higgins fouled off pitch after pitch before finally smacking a line drive to right to knock in Summerville with the game-winner.

Summer Celebration 3-on-3 basketball tourney

Summer Celebration’s annual kickoff, the 3-on-3 basketball tournament is back. This year’s tournament will be Friday, July 13 and is being organized by the Mercer Island Girl’s and Boy’s Basketball Booster Clubs and parents. Games will be played at the Community Center at Mercerview gym. The tournament will be modeled after the Spokane Hoopfest tournament with the goals in future years to acquire outdoor hoops and get the games back outside, possibly downtown Mercer Island.

Due to the limited amount of courts, there will be only four divisions: Boys and Girls fourth (third graders eligible), fifth, sixth and seventh grade (as of fall 2007). Entry deadline: Tuesday, July 3. Space is limited. Go to for registration forms and details.

Mitzel takes tourney

After shooting 78-69 on the first two days of the tournament, Mercer Island resident Paul Mitzel fired an even-par 72 in Thursday’s final round for a three-day total of 219 to claim the victory in the Pacific Northwest International Junior presented by Jeff Troesch and bring home his first career American Junior Golf Association title.

The Pacific Northwest International Junior was a 54-hole stroke play event featuring 57 boys and 21 girls. Included in the 78-player field were 18 players from Washington and 40 from California. The boy’s division played from tees set at 6,969 yards.

Mitzel said his stomach was in knots all day, but decided to take a risk and play his own aggressive game during the final round. It was that aggressive game that helped him tally five birdies on the day.

“The whole back-nine today was a turn-around for me,” Mitzel said. “I played aggressive through the whole tournament and just kept scrambling around. Things just really started working today.”

Mitzel will be a senior this fall and plays for the Island boys golf team.

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