Emotions were on display during the final postgame gathering of the 2018 season on the diamond for the Bellevue Wolverines baseball squad.
Wolverines’ baseball head coach Tate Seefried shook hands with every single player along the third base line/left field area, thanking them for their contributions to the team before they made their way back to the dugout for the final time this spring. The Wolverines saw their season come to an end courtesy of a 3-0 loss to the Redmond Mustangs in a loser-out, KingCo 3A playoff game on May 1 at Bannerwood Park in Bellevue.
It was the final time Bellevue’s seven seniors would ever wear a Wolverines’ baseball jersey. The Wolverines finished the 2018 season with an overall record of 9-10.
“We had a great group of guys. The seniors took the leadership role and ran with it. We went out in every game and we never gave up. This is probably the best senior class I’ve had. They didn’t talk a lot but they led by example. We’ll miss the seniors,” Seefried said.
Redmond pitcher Landon Thompson went the distance on the hill, allowing just four hits and no runs in a complete-game performance against Bellevue.
“Landon is so good. He is so unflappable and nothing seems to bother him. He locates and mixes his pitches so well,” Redmond head coach Dan Pudwill said.
The defense behind Thompson played flawlessly against Bellevue. With the game tied at 0-0 in the bottom of the fourth, Redmond centerfielder Yui Suzuki made a diving catch for the third and final out of the inning, preventing an RBI single by Bellevue hitter Michael Fernandez that would had scored Trent Gertz from third base. In the bottom of the sixth, Redmond second baseman Darek Khabani made a diving catch on a ground ball to his right side before throwing out Bellevue baserunner Ben Anger at first base.
“We were able to make those defensive plays behind him (Thompson). The catch in center field saved a run,” Pudwill said of Suzuki’s sensational grab.
Thompson has complete faith in the defense behind him.
“Yui out there in centerfield really saved my butt. The defense just helps our team a lot. It really does,” Thompson said.
Redmond scored all three of its runs in the top of the sixth. With the bases loaded and one out in the top of the sixth, Redmond hitter Hunter Sullivan connected on a grounder to Bellevue’s infield. A Bellevue infielder fielded the ball and fired to first base for the potential force out at home-plate.
Unfortunately for the Wolverines, the umpire called catcher interference on Fernandez (Bellevue catcher), which allowed Redmond baserunner Nick Holt to score, giving Redmond a 1-0 lead. Later in the inning Suzuki scored on a passed ball, extending Redmond’s lead to 2-0. The Mustangs pushed their third run across the plate after Calvin Cadman drew a walk with the bases loaded, scoring Connor Barison from third base for a 3-0 advantage.
Seefried was gracious in defeat in the final game of the season for his squad.
“They had a couple of really good defensive plays and we had a couple of bad breaks. We gave up three (runs) in one inning. Their pitcher (Thompson) did outstanding. He kept us off balance. We really couldn’t get a really good swing at him and we left a lot of guys on base. We always play these guys tough,” Seefried said. “It is always a one or two-run game. Hats off to them. They played well tonight.”