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Late inning heartbreak ends season for Bellevue baseball in KingCo tourney | Prep sports news
Bellevue entered the final day of the 3A KingCo baseball tournament needing two wins to keep its season alive.
Nearly six hours, 14 innings and one run later, that light flickered out.
Coach Pete Wilkinson's squad fell 1-0 to Juanita in the second loser-out game of the day at Bannerwood Park, spoiling a gem on the mound from John Brussa and ending the postseason run of the regular season conference champs.
The Rebels plated the only run of the game on a sacrifice fly in the sixth, and despite mounting a pair of threats in the final two frames, the Wolverines were unable to answer.
Andy Cosgrove tossed the final two shutout innings, working out of a bases loaded, no out jam in the sixth before sending his team to the district crossover game by stranding the tying runner at first base in the seventh.
"These are the kinds of games you beg to coach in," Wilkinson said. "No one blinked. I've never been prouder of a team."
Brussa worked all seven innings on the mound for Bellevue, and finished with six strikeouts and allowed only four base hits and the one run.
The loss ended the careers of four seniors, though half of the Wolverines' modest senior class ended their seasons prematurely due to injuries.
After three seasons at the helm, two of which included regular season KingCo titles, Wilkinson credited Cal Neely, Brady Carlson, Brad Klustner and Chandler Hawk.
"They finished the three year creation of a program," Wilkinson said of his seniors. "They gave us everything. There is no chance we develop into this without those four."
The Wolverines snuck past rival Mercer Island 2-0 in their first loser-out game of the day, using a complete game shutout on the mound from junior Connor Todd and a pair of sixth inning runs to keep their season alive.
Senior Chandler Hawk worked a one out walk in the bottom half of the sixth, before Nick Kafer smashed a double down the right field line to give Bellevue only its second runner of the day in scoring position.
A bouncing grounder to third gave Hawk time to score, and a sacrifice fly by Isaac Lee later in the game provided the insurance.
Todd allowed only three base hits, and allowed the Islanders to advance a runner into scoring position only twice in the game.
The Bellevue starter surrendered back-to-back base hits before offering up a walk with two outs in the second inning, before working his way off the hook.
He walked the leadoff man in the top of the seventh to bring the tying run to the plate, before inducing a double-play and striking out the final batter of the game to preserve the win.
Newport loses pair in 4A
The first season under head coach Brad Files ended in the 4A KingCo tournament consolation round for Newport, after a pair of losses sent the Knights home shy of the state tournament for the third straight year.
Woodinville won a 3-1 game over Newport in the first round, before rival Issaquah earned a 4-3 win in a loser-out game May 12.
The Knights managed only four base hits, and fell behind 3-0 before scoring a pair of runs in the fourth and another in the bottom of the seventh.
Eastlake and Woodinville played for the tournament championship May 15.
Interlake lost its first round game in the 3A KingCo tournament, 3-2 to Juanita in eight innings, to finish their season.
The Saints, which entered the tournament off consecutive wins, beat the Rebels in both of their regular season meetings.
Mount Si claimed the conference title to take the automatic berth to state.