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Coupeville opens postseason with win | Baseball
Taking the first step toward qualifying for the state tournament, the Coupeville High School baseball team ripped host Meridian 6-1 in the opening round of district play Tuesday, May 6.
In other first-round action, Friday Harbor defeated Nooksack Valley 7-3, South Whidbey blanked Blaine 10-0 and Lynden Christian beat Mount Baker 3-2
The Wolves, the No. 5 seed, advance to the semifinals and face No. 1 seed Lynden Christian (8-13) at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, May 8, at Blaine's Pipeline Athletic Complex.
If they win, they will qualify for tri-district and play the winner of Friday Harbor (13-4) and South Whidbey (13-7) in the district title match at 4 p.m. Saturday in Blaine.
If they lose, they meet the winner of Nooksack Valley (9-11) and Blaine (5-16) at noon Saturday in Blaine in a winner-to-tri-district, loser-out game. The winner of that game will play again at 4 p.m. to determine the third and fourth seeds for tri-district.
In the win over Meridian, Ben Etzell fired a three-hitter and struck out nine, and he aided his own cause by picking off a runner, hitting a single and driving in two runs.
“He really had them baffled, mixing his fastball and off-speed stuff effectively,” coach Willie Smith said.
Etzell picked up offensive help from Aaron Trumbull (3-for-4, RBI), Jake Tumblin (2-for-4, double, two runs), Wade Schaef (2-for-3, double, two runs) and Kurtis Smith (double, run).
Coupeville started quickly with a run in the first. Kurtis Smith doubled and scored on Trumbull's base hit.
In the third, Schaef reached on an error and Tumblin beat out a bunt for a base hit, putting runners at the corners. On a double steal, Schaef scored and Tumblin went to second. Kurtis Smith moved Tumblin to third, and Etzell drove him home with a sacrifice fly.
Meridian (8-12) scored in the sixth to make it 3-1, then Coupeville put the game away with three runs in the seventh.
With one out, Schaef smacked and double and Tumblin followed with his own, driving the ball to the 355-foot mark of the wall.
Kurtis Smith reached on a fielder's choice when Meridian failed to get lead-runner Tumblin, who hurried back to second on the throw to third.
Etzell singled in Tumblin, and Trumbull blooped a base hit to load the bases. Josh Bayne's sacrifice fly finished the scoring.
The Wolves sealed the win with a nice backhand play by C.J. Smith and a strikeout by Etzell in the seventh.
“A great team win and huge win for us,” coach Smith said. “Great defense, pitching and offense all around.”