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Archive for May, 2015

Freed delivers pitch with Perkins holding runner in background

Freed delivers pitch with Perkins holding runner in background

The Bulldogs go through the postgame handshake line

The Bulldogs go through the postgame handshake line

Garfield coaches congratulate Mercer Island on qualifying for state tournament

Garfield coaches congratulate Mercer Island on qualifying for state tournament

In a one-game playoff at Seattle University’s newly-turfed Bannerwood Park, the Mercer Island Islanders knocked off Garfield by a score of 6-1. The game started with Mercer Island’s pitcher retiring the first nine Bulldog hitters. Garfield starter Aidan Miller countered with four scoreless innings, helped by a pair of outstanding defensive plays. Catcher Eli Wilson slid to catch a short foul pop-up along the first base line to end the 3rd inning. In the next inning, Wilson caught a throw from right fielder Kepler Swanson and fired the ball to second base to nail the Islanders baserunner who had strayed too far from the bag. Garfield struck first offensively in the 4th inning with Wilson crushing a double down the left field line to score Spencer Mann for a 1-0 lead. The Islanders responded with a three-run 5th inning to knock Miller from the game. Henry Freed pitched the 6th inning and Mercer Island put up a few more runs off him to take a decisive 6-1 lead. Patrick Lin and Alex Gregory had a perfect relay from the left field fence to cut down a Mercer Island baserunner at the plate, but the damage had already been done. The Islanders starting pitcher finished strong, retiring the final eleven Bulldogs hitters to clinch the spot in the state regionals next weekend.

The Garfield Bulldogs season came to a close on Saturday afternoon, just one win short of a spot in the final sixteen teams that advance to state regionals. The team ended on a 4-game losing streak, with the losses all coming against teams that will be representing the Sea-King district at state. The fifteen wins in 2015 are the most in a season over two decades for the Bulldogs. Some great pitching performances were backed up by a strong defense this season. The offense had improved numbers from a year ago. The program had increased player turnout and will likely see another large incoming freshman class of ballplayers. The contributions of seniors Toby Perkins, Aidan Nuttall, Patrick Lin, Harald Hyllseth, Henry Freed,  David Brinkley, and Jupiter Breuner will be missed, but not forgotten for having led the Bulldogs further into the postseason than any other Garfield team had gone in their lifetimes. There is some young talent on the Varsity club that will benefit from this playoff experience and will be hungry for competition in the 2016 campaign.

Congratulations and best of luck to O’Dea, Bainbridge, Eastside Catholic, and Seattle Prep in the upcoming state tournament as they represent the Metro 3A conference. Lake Washington and Mercer Island of Kingco 3A round out the Sea-King district representation. The 3A state regionals are set for May 23rd in Bellevue, Yelm, Mt. Vernon, and Spokane. The state championships are May 29th-30th in Pasco.

Newport took home the Kingco 4A title with an impressive performance in the regular season and conference tournament. They will be joined by Skyline at the state tournament. The 4A regionals sites are Kent, Everett, Tacoma, and Yakima with the championships also being held in Pasco.

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Wilson loses his helmet legging out an infield single in 7th

Wilson loses his helmet legging out an infield single in 7th

In the final game of the Metro 3A conference postseason tournament on Friday afternoon, the Seattle Prep Panthers got out to an early 2-0 lead off Bulldogs starter David Brinkley. Garfield would even the score on a RBI single by Toby Perkins in the 2nd and a sacrifice fly by Patrick Lin in the 3rd. A close call at 3rd base on a double steal went in favor of the Panthers and opened the door for a 3-run blast by Seattle Prep to blow the game open. Prep would go on to add five more run in the 4th inning to go ahead for good 10-2. Garfield was never able to recover despite a solid relief pitching outing from Zubin Kopischke. The team’s offense was held to just four hits by the Seattle Prep sidearm lefty pitcher. The defensive highlight of the game was a diving catch in left field by Lin.

With the loss, the Bulldogs finish the Metro tournament in 5th place with an opportunity to play against the Kingco 2nd place team in a one-game playoff for the 6th and final spot from the Sea-King district. O’Dea defeated Bainbridge in the Metro championship on Thursday night to earn the conference title. Eastside Catholic and Seattle Prep will join the Metro finalists in the state regionals. Lake Washington won the Kingco championship earlier in the week to earn a spot from the Sea-King district. The crossover game between Garfield (15-10 record) and Mercer Island is set for Saturday at 1:00pm at Bannerwood Park in Bellevue.

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Swanson RBI single scoring Freed in 7th

Swanson RBI single scoring Freed in 7th

Bulldogs regroup postgame

Bulldogs regroup postgame

The Garfield Bulldogs lost 4-2 in a consolation bracket game with state tournament implications. The Eastside Catholic Crusaders were the #1 overall seed in the conference tournament, but had suffered a loss to O’Dea in their previous game. Early in the season, Eastside Catholic hit the ball hard all over the yard against the Bulldogs, but this playoff game was a much tighter affair, exciting to the final out.

Aidan Miller of Garfield was touched for three runs in the 1st inning in a short outing. Henry Freed pitched a couple scoreless innings of relief and was followed by Spencer Mann making his season debut on the mound. The defense did its part in backing up the Bulldogs pitchers.

The Crusaders defense lucked out on a sliding catch by their right fielder, a diving play by their first baseman on a grounder, a diving play by their shortstop on a liner that he would drop and throw the runner out, and a great play ranging up the middle to record an out on what appeared to be a line drive single for Garfield. Eastside Catholic’s pitcher threw a complete game and had great command of his breaking ball and fastball all afternoon, holding the Bulldogs scoreless through six innings.

Garfield’s offense put up a fight in the 7th inning, stringing together a pair of runs before the inning ended with the tying run at the plate. Henry Freed had a double to lead off the final inning, followed by Kepler Swanson and Jupiter Breuner each driving in a run to narrow the gap to 4-2. Unfortunately, the Bulldogs ran out of time to complete their comeback. See Bill Kossen’s photos.

Eastside Catholic earned the #3 seed to the state tournament with the victory. Ballard lost to Seattle Prep, leaving one final Metro 3A playoff game for the week. Garfield (15-9 overall) will take on Seattle Prep on Friday 4:00pm at Steve Cox Memorial Park for the chance to be the #4 seed to state.

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Lin hits sac fly in 5th inning

Lin hits sac fly in 5th inning

Perkins legs out triple in 7th inning

Perkins legs out triple in 7th inning

The Bainbridge Spartans won their 17th consecutive game on Tuesday afternoon, defeating the Garfield Bulldogs 4-1 in the conference semifinals. The Bulldogs are one of two teams to beat Bainbridge this season, with all three matchups between the clubs being intense down to the final pitch.

Bulldogs starter Alex Gregory had some 1st inning difficulties, allowing three runs including a two-run homer, but was able to finish his four innings of work only allowing three total hits. Zubin Kopischke finished the game with a couple scoreless innings of relief.

The Bulldogs played a sound game defensively, but were unable to string together much at the plate. The team outhit the Spartans, but was unable to get a hit with a runner in scoring position. Patrick Lin had the lone RBI for Garfield, on a sacrifice fly in the 5th inning. Toby Perkins had a single and a triple, scoring the only run. Bill Kossen captured the action with his photographs included in this post.

Bainbridge advances to play reigning state champion O’Dea in the Metro championship game on Thursday night. Garfield (15-8 record) will play Eastside Catholic on Wednesday at 7:00pm at Steve Cox Park for 3rd place and a spot in the state regionals. Ballard and Seattle Prep remain alive in the consolation bracket, battling for an outside shot at the state tournament.

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Brinkley to Swanson to nail Prep runner at 3rd

Brinkley to Swanson to nail Prep runner at 3rd

Wilson game-winning hit

Wilson game-winning hit

Lin scores run in 7th

Lin scores winning run in top of 7th

Bulldogs fans go crazy

Bulldogs fans go crazy

Garfield celebrates the final out

Garfield celebrates the final out

Before a packed house at Seattle Prep’s home field of Steve Cox Memorial Park, the Garfield Bulldogs defeated the #1 seeded Panthers 3-2. The game featured brilliant pitching from senior David Brinkley, who went the distance for the complete game victory. Patrick Lin scored the go-ahead run from 2nd base in the top of the 7th inning on a line-drive single up the middle off the bat of Eli Wilson. Photo credits to Bill Kossen on this post.

Brinkley worked well during his seven innings pitched with battery mate Wilson, allowing five hits and just two runs. The longest was the longest of Brinkley’s Bulldogs career. He got stronger as the night went on, retiring the final eight Panthers batters, capping the night off by covering first base on a grounder to the first baseman to record final out of the ballgame. Garfield’s defense rose to the occasion, doing a great job in backing up Brinkley.

The Bulldogs offense kept the pressure on Seattle Prep’s pitching and defense with twelve baserunners during the course of the game. Lin reached base three times, scored a pair of runs and had a key stolen base to get into scoring position in the final frame. Wilson drove in a couple runs, including the game-winner. Alex Gregory added a pair of singles. Overall, the team hitting showed improvement from the previous night.

The game is the fourth consecutive for the Bulldogs that has been decided in the 7th inning, with the last three being Garfield victories. Garfield (15-7 overall) will play Bainbridge on Tuesday afternoon at 4:00pm at Steve Cox Memorial Park. O’Dea-Eastside Catholic is the other conference semifinal matchup. Blanchet-Seattle Prep and Roosevelt-Ballard are the Monday consolation bracket games.

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Swanson scoring game-winning run

Swanson scores game-winning run

2-1 victory!

2-1 victory!

Crowd reaction

Garfield crowd reaction

Bulldogs celebrate the Breuner walk-off and Miller complete game

Bulldogs celebrate the Breuner walk-off and Miller complete game

The Bulldogs clutch hitting came through again in an intense Friday night pitchers duel with the Ingraham Rams in the 2nd round of the Metro 3A conference tournament. Ingraham had defeated Rainier Beach in the 1st round the previous day to earn a matchup with Garfield. Both lefty pitchers threw great ballgames, but the final result was Garfield winning in walkoff fashion on a RBI single to left field by Jupiter Breuner. Bill Kossen’s photos tell the story.

Senior team captain Jupiter Breuner had an excellent day at the plate, hitting a triple in the 3rd inning and scoring on a Patrick Lin RBI single. Breuner then hit the game-ending single in the 7th inning to score freshman Kepler Swanson. Eli Wilson added a couple hits for the Bulldogs offense.

Aidan Miller allowed two hits over his seven innings pitched, keeping the Rams offense at bay to record the complete game victory. Bulldogs defensive highlights included a heads-up play by first man Toby Perkins to spot a baserunner missing first base on what appeared to be a sure double. The Garfield appeal was successful to erase the scoring threat. Second baseman Zubin Kopischke turned an unassisted double play on a hit-and-run grounder up the middle where he was covering the bag for a steal. Caleb Stocker tracked down quite a few fly ball outs in right field. Patrick Lin made a a great over-the-shoulder catch in left field early in the game to snuff a potential extra-base hit.

The win moves the Bulldogs to a 14-7 overall record. Garfield’s playoff win is the program’s first in over 20 years! The 2013 Bulldogs went two-and-out in the Kingco 4A tournament. Before that, the last time the team qualified for the postseason was in 1992.

The Metro playoffs continue with the Bulldogs playing top-seeded host school Seattle Prep in the nightcap of a quadruple-header on Saturday evening. First pitch is set for 6:00pm at Steve Cox Memorial Park. The other matchups for Saturday in White Center include Roosevelt vs Eastside Catholic, Blanchet vs Bainbridge, and O’Dea vs Ballard.

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The day began with a tribute to the seven Bulldogs seniors (Harald Hyllseth, Aidan Nuttall, David Brinkley, Toby Perkins, Jupiter Breuner, Henry Freed, Patrick Lin) and their parents. The Bulldogs fell behind early 5-0 after a pair of early Lakeside home runs. Alex Gregory started on the mound and battled through four innings of work keeping the Bulldogs within reach of the Lions by a score of 5-1.

In the bottom of the 5th inning, catcher Eli Wilson hit a line drive that skipped past a diving right fielder, resulting in an inside-the-park 3-run homer to swing the momentum back to the Bulldogs. Designated hitter Aidan Nuttall had a clutch double to knock in a run and tie the game later in the 5th inning.

The game remained tied 5-5 until the 8th inning. Lakeside threatened in the top half of the inning, but a scoring threat was snuffed on a pickoff move to first base, where first baseman Caleb Stocker alertly threw home to catch the runner trying to score from third base. David Brinkley had a one out single to right field in the bottom half of the inning, and was replaced by a courtesy runner, Christian Bossett. A balk and a grounder to the right side advanced the runner to third base with two outs, for Patrick Lin, who ripped a line drive up the middle. The packed bleachers erupted as Bossett scored the winning run and the Bulldogs swarmed Lin, the walk-off hero. Brinkley pitched a superb four innings, combining efficiency with clutch strikeouts, to earn the relief win.

The win marks the second consecutive year that Garfield has won on a walk-off hit on Senior Day. The Bulldogs wrap up the 2015 regular season with a 13-7 overall record, 13-5 in league play. Garfield holds the #2 seed out of the Mountain Division for the Metro 3A Conference Tournament. The next game will be on Friday night at 7:00pm at the neutral site of Chief Sealth against the winner of Thursday’s Rainier Beach vs Ingraham playoff game.

The JV team lost its season finale 5-4 against Lakeside on Wednesday afternoon. The Bulldogs tied the game on a Lions balk in the top of the 7th and then lost on a throwing error on a dropped third strike to let in the winning run in the bottom of the 7th. Nelson Huffaker, Tim Arnold and Christian Bossett each had multi-hit games for Garfield. Eli Powell added a clutch 2-run single in the 6th. The Bulldogs JV team finishes the season with a 6-14 record under first-year JV coach Nicholas Fell.

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