What looked to be a sure victory quickly turned into a scare for the Lakeside Recovery Senior Legion baseball team in its first game of the Brandy Pugh Memorial Tournament.
When it was all said and done, what was a commanding pitching performance by Jacob Kemmerer turned into a seventh-inning scare before Lakeside Recovery shut the door on Honda of Bellevue. A four-run final-inning lead was halved before Lakeside reliever Blake Fulghum struck out Erik Korsmo looking with the tying run at first base to preserve Lakeside’s 5-3 win on July 9 at Bannerwood Park.
Kemmerer nearly went the distance in the first game of the tournament named for the late Mercer Island baseball coach who passed away due to cancer in 1999. Kemmerer pitched 6 2/3 innings and yielded only seven hits while striking out six. The Issaquah High School right-hander looked to be on cruise control until the sixth inning, when Honda loaded the bases, bringing the tying run to the plate in 6-foot-4 first baseman Spencer Nelson, who was 2-for-2 off Kemmerer.
“He had two good hits on me already,” said Kemmerer, who earned the win. “He had hit it out and over the plate and up and in. So I went low and away on him.”
Nelson went down swinging, leaving the three runners stranded.
But Kemmerer ran into trouble again in the seventh. After allowing a Cam Patrick single, the right-hander walked David Madson and Jon Ramos to load the bases, again bringing the tying run to the plate, this time in the form of Honda clean-up hitter Trase Pickering. Fulghum relieved Kemmerer, allowing a two-run single to Pickering before striking out Korsmo to pick up the save.
“Jacob pitched a great game and just ran out of gas a little bit there at the end,” said Lakeside head coach Rob Reese. “He had a couple close calls, but just couldn’t put it away in the final inning.”
Lakeside started off the scoring in the first inning, as Will Pierce used his head – literally – to put Lakeside on the board. Honda starter Matt Allan couldn’t find the strike zone, walking Kyle Sutherland and hitting Trace Tam Singh in the back to load the bases. After a lengthy delay when Singh had to leave the game due to injury, Allan hit Pierce in the head to force in Lakeside’s first run.
Pierce was able to stay in the game, but Singh was forced to go to the doctor to get X-rays.
“We haven’t heard anything yet but it’s a big loss,” Reese said. “Trace is a great shortstop and a great hitter. But you know, we’ve got a good team and some kids that can step in. Hopefully it doesn’t come to that because we need Trace.”
Honda countered in the second inning, as Nelson singled in Pickering to tie the game at one, but Lakeside scored three times in its half of the second, with consecutive RBI doubles by Collin Bennett and Spencer Rogers and an RBI single by Sutherland.
Lakeside scored its final run in the third inning when Ryan Somers was called safe on an infield single that scored Pierce from third base.
Allan, despite his early struggles, went the distance for Honda in the loss.
It was the first game for both teams in the tournament, which has been played since 1979. Both teams are in the tournament’s Green Division and will play today at Bannerwood, with Honda taking on Red Lion at 2 p.m. and Lakeside playing the Vancouver Cardinals in the late game at 8 p.m.
The teams finish round-robin play Sunday before Monday’s championship games. The No. 1 seeds from each division will face off for the tournament title at 7 p.m. at Bannerwood.
“We feel like we have a good team this year.” Kemmerer said, “If we play up to our abilities, we feel we can go a long way in this tournament.”
Blake Gibbs, a Lakeside Recovery member, has been on the injured reserve all season due to a knee injury suffered during a collision with teammate Collin Bennett in Newport High School’s regular season. Gibbs was a 1st-Team All-KingCo performer for the Knights Bennett only recently recovered from the injury, which left him with a lacerated kidney.
The tournament is named for the late Brandy Pugh, a former Rose Hill Junior High and Mercer Island baseball coach who passed away in 1999 due to cancer.
Lakeside won the tournament in 1994 and 1995, but has not won it since – Honda has never won.
Joel Willits can be reached at 425-453-4270 ext. 5060 or at email@example.com.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Honda 0 1 0 0 0 0 2 3 8 0
Lakeside 1 3 1 0 0 0 X 5 8 0
Lakeside: Kemmerer, Fulghum (7) and Sutherland.
Honda: Allan. WP – Kemmerer. LP – Allan. S – Fulghum.
Highlights: (L) Rogers 2-4, 2 2B, RBI, 2 R; Somers 2-4, RBI; Kemmerer 6.2 IP, 3 R, 7 H, 4 BB’s, 6 K’s
Grey Division Green Division
Taylor Baseball Lakeside Recovery
Chaffey Baseball Honda of Bellevue
Seattle Stars Kennewick Bandits
Baden Baseball Twin City Titans
Spokane Dodgers Vancouver Cardinals
Bankers Baseball Red Lion