The Mercer Island baseball team didn’t let a heartbreaking 5-4 loss in the Class 3A semifinals against the Southridge Suns keep them down for long.
Less than 24 hours after suffering a defeat in the semifinals, the Islanders rebounded with a 2-1 victory against the Edmonds-Woodway Warriors in the Class 3A third/fourth place game on May 27 at Safeco Field in Seattle. Mercer Island junior pitcher Robert Weaver went the distance on the hill, surrendering a meager two hits in a complete game performance. Mercer Island scored their only runs of the game in the bottom of the first inning.
Mercer Island head coach Dominic Woody was impressed with his team’s ability to overcome the loss in the semifinals the previous day.
“The energy of the game was just really weird. The Edmonds-Woodway coach (Don Somoza) and I commented on it before, during and after the game. It was slightly anti-climatic but at the same time the guys were focused and they got it done,” Woody said. “I have never been in that kind of environment or atmosphere before. It is a credit to our guys to be able to go out there and get the win.”
Weaver, who also pitched a complete game in the Islanders 12-4 win against Bonney Lake in the Class 3A quarterfinals on May 20, came through yet again in a pressure-packed moment.
“He was super consistent and in the back half of the year he was lights out for us. There is no way we would had been as successful this year as we were without him,” Woody said of the gritty right-handed hurler. “The sky is the limit for Weav (Weaver) going forward into his senior season next year.”
The future looks bright for the Islanders baseball program considering they will bring back the majority of its varsity team in 2018. Seniors Jack Smith, Sam Rosenstein and Noah Hsue will graduate this June. Mercer Island won a state title in 2015, advanced to the first round of the state playoffs in 2016 and captured a third place trophy this season.
“The mentality around here is that we finish the season with a third place trophy and some people were disappointed. It is pretty indicative of where the program is. I think it really speaks volumes about the expectation level and where things have risen to and is going to fuel their fire going forward,” Woody said. “I definitely think Mercer Island baseball is a brand people are starting to recognize and we’re going to do everything we can to continue to build that brand. We want to make sure we can get back to the final four and improve upon our finish this season.”