Mercer Island Islanders senior Grant Stading (No. 19) hustles down the first-base line after hitting a grounder against the Capital Cougars. Capital defeated Mercer Island, 7-1, in the first round of the 3A state playoffs. Photo courtesy of Patrick Krohn/Patrick Krohn Photography

Mercer Island Islanders senior Grant Stading (No. 19) hustles down the first-base line after hitting a grounder against the Capital Cougars. Capital defeated Mercer Island, 7-1, in the first round of the 3A state playoffs. Photo courtesy of Patrick Krohn/Patrick Krohn Photography

Cougars conquer Mercer Island in loser-out playoff game on diamond

Islanders finish the 2019 season with 13 victories.

A setback in the final game of the 2019 baseball season couldn’t take away the immense feeling of pride the Mercer Island Islanders baseball team felt as it departed the dugout for the final time this spring.

The Capital Cougars registered a 7-1 win against Mercer Island in a winner-to-quarterfinal, loser-out 3A state playoff game on May 18 at Bannerwood Park in Bellevue. The Islanders finished the season with an overall record of 13-9. Capital scored three runs in the top of the third inning and tacked on three more runs in the top of the fourth. Capital enticed Mercer Island to ground out into four double plays in the final four innings of play, quelling Mercer Island rally attempts.

Islanders’ senior Cole Miller, who will continue his baseball career at the University of Washington next season, was proud of what his squad accomplished in 2019. At one point, the Islanders had an overall record of 5-6.

“It was definitely a roller coaster for sure. I’m really proud of what we were able to overcome adversity-wise. We were a team that really stuck together. Unfortunately it didn’t work out the way we wanted it but I’m proud of everyone. I’m excited to see what the Mercer Island baseball program does in the future,” Miller said.

Islanders’ head coach Dominic Woody said it was the fifth year in a row the Islanders baseball squad has competed at the 3A state tournament.

“We were all prepared and we all believed in ourselves. We knew where we were supposed to be and that was the state playoffs. We’ve always had a history here. It is a little bit surreal to have it be over,” Miller said.

Woody was beaming with pride despite the loss.

“Obviously with the success that we’ve had, it is still difficult to end the year because with that ticket to the (state) tournament, you obviously want to have an opportunity to push on and go as long as you can but this is what it is, unfortunately. I couldn’t be prouder of the guys and the way they battled. They made it to state and still had a hell of a season,” Woody said.

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