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Wednesday, April 17, 1996 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Prep Beat -- Strikeout Leads To West Seattle Win -- Wild Throw Makes Wild Finish Pay Off

Special To The Seattle Times

It was one exciting finish after another in Metro League baseball.

There was the freakish finish in West Seattle's 6-5 come-from-behind victory over Ballard on Friday. Trailing by a run with one on and two out in the seventh inning, freshman Blake Webb singled up the middle for the tie. He was replaced by pinch runner Nick Thorburn, who stole second with the count 0-2 on freshman Scott Olsen. Olsen struck out.

Game over? Not quite.

The last pitch got away from the catcher and Olsen took off for first. The throw to first was high, and Thorburn, who by now was heading for third, was waved home for the winning run.

"We all jumped up and down," West Seattle Coach Velko Vitalich said. "It was really exciting, especially after the week we'd had (losses to Garfield and Lakeside). It's a good way to start a vacation."

Over at Lower Woodland, meanwhile, an extra-inning drama was unfolding between AAA Garfield and Roosevelt.

With the game tied at 2, Garfield loaded the bases in the top of the eighth. Jesse Hagopian knocked in the go-ahead run with an infield out. A long fly on the next play caught Roosevelt's right fielder playing too far back and he missed the catch, allowing two more runs.

Garfield's Jarod Wilson then pitched a three-up-three-down inning to go the distance. He gave up only two hits, both in the first inning.

"It kept us in the hunt because after losing to Franklin (11-0 on April 4) we would have been out," Garfield Coach Joe Staton said. "Now there's pressure on Roosevelt to beat Franklin for the three-way tie. If they don't, we're in second."

Wednesday, West Seattle was on the not-so-fun end of an exciting game when the Indians fell to Ingraham 7-6.

In that game, Ingraham's Chris Covington brought in Verice Bennett in the sixth, then Richard Clubine held down West Seattle in the seventh for the victory. Clubine finished with 12 strikeouts.

Rainier Beach's bats warmed up Wednesday against Cleveland when E.J. King and Keith Meighan drilled home runs. King finished 3 for 3 with two doubles and two RBI in addition to the homer, and is hitting .391 for the year. Meighan went 2 for 3.

"I've expected E.J. to do that all year because he's a good left-handed hitter with a beautiful swing," Rainier Beach Coach Ira White said. "He's busted out of his slump a little bit lately and been pretty impressive.

"Keith has been a little up and down but ate his Wheaties that morning. He put it together, taking a curveball and hitting it out of the park."

FIRST TIME, BUT NO JITTERS

After falling at the end of the first lap in a crowded 1,600-meter race Saturday in California, O'Dea's Matt Pearson was allowed by the meet director to enter the 3,200-meter race at the Arcadia Invitational.

"He was running the perfect race, but hit the railing and fell pretty hard," O'Dea Coach Andy Slatt said. "I asked him if he'd like to give the 3,200 a try, just to get a workout. He said, `OK, but I don't know what I'm doing,' and I told him just to stay with the guys in front."

Pearson followed instructions when, still bleeding, he took to the track an hour later. The 800- and 1,600-meter specialist took sixth in a field of more than 30, and turned in a state-leading time of 9:12.4 in a race he had never run. Teammate David Bazzi also ran the 3,200 at the national meet, finishing in 9:30.

Kell Giffin, a senior at Bainbridge High School, won the 1,600 in 4:12:51, the fastest high-school time in the nation this season.

Blanchet junior Alex Allen also made the trip to compete in the 400 meters. Allen, the 1995 Class AA state champion, turned in a state-leading 57.54.

BRAVE MARATHONERS

They may not run a 4:12 mile, but Leo Genest and Ron Ellis, Blanchet track and field coaches, can do 26 of them at a slightly slower pace. The two were among eight Blanchet teachers, parents and alumni who completed the historic 100th Boston Marathon on Monday. The group's top finisher was former cross-country runner Matt Ellis, Ron's son and a 1989 Blanchet graduate.

MINDING THE NET

Those credited with shutouts during last week's Metro soccer matchups: Garfield's Jay Schneider (vs. Lakeside); Ingraham's David Stonehouse (vs. Cleveland); Hale's Nevin Smith (vs. Cleveland); Ballard's Matt Steele (vs. Rainier Beach); and Franklin's Eric Quintua (vs. Cleveland). It was the second shutout of the year for Stonehouse and third for Steele.

ON THE OFFENSIVE

A pair of Garfield soccer players were in a scoring kind of mood last week. Nick Jones, junior midfielder/defender, scored two goals against Sealth and one against Lakeside, while Tim Kang, senior midfielder/forward, knocked in one in each of three games played.

Not to be outdone, Franklin's Svaidy Les took it to Cleveland, racking up three in a single game.

MASTER THIEVES

Six players on Ballard's softball team combined to steal 17 bases in last Thursday's victory over Garfield. Doing the dirty work were Lisa Cuzner (4), Micaela Thymian (3), Nicole Thornton (2), Kari Greenway (2), Mary Connaughton (2) and Bree Callahan (4).

"That's nothing. We stole 41 against Cleveland," Ballard Coach Al Lowe said. "The funny thing is, we're slow. Sometimes we go to sleep out there."

The Beavers haven't slept lately. Thymian, a senior shortstop who stole eight in the Cleveland debacle, went 4 for 5 with six runs, six RBI, two walks, a triple, a home run, and four stolen bases (including home) in two games last week. Connaughton, fellow senior, went 5 for 8, four RBI, a walk, a home run, two stolen bases and five runs scored over the same period.

MESSY FIELDS, CONTINUED

West Seattle and Franklin began what was looking like a great softball showdown when the umpires called the game for safety reasons after five innings and walked off the field with a 4-4 tie. The game is considered legal because five innings were completed, and will not be rescheduled for completion because it is nonleague (AAA vs. AA).

West Seattle's pitcher Tanya Foote had struck out 13 and walked two (one intentional) when the game was called.

HAPPY ENDING

Franklin may have been just as happy to go home a little early Thursday after Wednesday's wild finish against Lakeside.

Things looked bleak for the Quakers, who entered the bottom of the seventh trailing 16-13. A Lakeside error brought in one, and Michelle Yarbrough hit a triple to score Jasmine Weaver and Yolanda Dixon to tie the game with no outs. Kari Kollen then hit the game-winning RBI, a sacrifice fly, to score Yarbrough and win the game, 17-16.

"It was ugly, missed signs and lots of errors, until the sixth and seventh innings when it got to be a good game," Franklin Coach Sharon Gard said.

Copyright (c) 1996 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

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