BURLINGTON — Bounce-back games don’t get much bigger than the one the Burlington Sox played on Saturday at the American Legion AA District Tournament.
After losing on Friday to Wilder of Port Angeles by 10 runs, Burlington destroyed Lynden 21-2 in five innings, securing its spot in the state tournament as one of the top five teams in the district tournament.
Burlington will play the tourney’s lone undefeated team, Mount Vernon, at 3 p.m. Sunday. Mount Vernon defeated Wilder 5-3 on Saturday.
At noon on Sunday, Sedro-Woolley, which beat Blaine 7-3 on Saturday, will meet Wilder. The winners of the noon and 3 p.m. games will meet at 6 p.m. Sunday.
All games are at Burlington-Edison High School.
In its lopsided win against Lynden, Burlington unleashed a barrage of hits and runs in the first inning, scoring 14 times. The home team scored nine runs before Lynden registered its first out.
It was that type of game. One that took Burlington coach John Thurmond by surprise.
“No, I didn’t expect that type of outcome,” he said. “You never expect that to happen. Lynden is a good team and they always play hard.”
Thurmond, however, will take the victory.
“It was a good bounce-back game” he added. “We went out and responded well after what happened yesterday (Friday). We pitched well, we hit well, we got a bunch of hits.”
While the Sox defense was never really tested, when a ball came Burlington’s way, it usually resulted in an out. Pitchers Will Watson, Alex Thurmond and Tyler Cherryholmes combined to throw a two-hitter.
The pair of runs Lynden did manage to score came in the its final at-bat, as did its two hits, both singles. In the meantime, the team committed five errors.
Meanwhile, the Sox feasted on Lynden pitching. In that first-inning barrage, they tallied 10 hits, rolling through the order before suffering their first out as Lynden committed three errors, walked three and hit one batter.
Bret Johnson finished 3-for-3 with a pair of singles, a double and four RBI. Colby Arnold and Clayton O’Larey both went 2-for-4 with a pair of singles apiece. O’Larey also had three RBI.
Mount Vernon 5, Wilder 3
Starting pitcher Sam Nelson recovered from a shaky first inning and the Riverdogs snapped a 3-3 tie with a run in the fifth en route to the win in the game featuring the tourney’s two unbeaten teams.
Nelson, who pitched six innings, scattered four hits after giving up four hits and three runs in the first inning. Mount Vernon’s bats also responded, scoring three runs in the bottom of the first to tie the score 3-3.
“We go down three runs and our guys didn’t waver,” Riverdogs coach Tony Wolden said. “We answered back, and that says a lot about our guys. We needed a game like that, a hard-nosed battle.
“Sam threw well and our defense played well behind Sam.”
Nelson went 2-for-3 with an RBI, and Kyle Wolden was 2-for-2 with an RBI.
Sedro-Woolley 7, Blaine 3
Sedro-Woolley scored six runs in the sixth inning to pull the rug out from underneath Blaine.
Blaine had enjoyed a 3-1 lead heading into the inning.
Sedro-Woolley will play Wilder at noon Sunday.