BURLINGTON — It was a solid Sunday for the Burlington Sox in the American Legion AA District Tournament.
Burlington defeated Wilder 5-4 in eight innings after beating the Mount Vernon Riverdogs in a 6-5 thriller.
Burlington and Mount Vernon play again today at 4 p.m. in the district championship game. Both squads have already advanced to the state tournament.
Against Wilder of Port Angeles, who defeated Sedro-Woolley earlier in the day 5-4, Burlington was pushed into extra innings before securing the win.
With the game tied 4-4 in the bottom of the eighth, Burlington’s Will Corcoran stepped to the plate with the winning run in Josh Fox at second base.
Fox hit a ball that fell in front of Wilder right fielder Kamron Meadows before ricocheting sharply to the left at nearly a right angle. The unexpected bounce allowed Fox to race to second with a double as Meadows scrambled to field the ball.
Corcoran calmly stepped to the plate and sent the third pitch he saw from reliever Seth Woods into the gap in right-center field, allowing Fox to score.
That was Corcoran’s only hit of the game.
“I was looking for a fastball over the middle of the plate,” Corcoran said, “and that is what I got. It came over the middle third (of the plate) and I just made sure I swung through it.”
The win exacted a bit of revenge for the Sox as Wilder had beaten Burlington 15-5 on Friday.
“They (Wilder) really took it to us,” Corcoran said of the earlier loss. “They got out to an early lead and just poured it on. We played much better in this game.”
Burlington assistant coach Joe Avila agreed.
“Wilder is a good ballclub,” he said. “They are coached well, they played well and have great kids. We knew we were going to have to play our game this time around. We did and we came out on top.”
Avila said he was impressed with the way the Burlington players were able to “flush that loss,” putting it behind them quickly.
“We knew it wasn’t going to be easy,” he said. “We just had to stick to our game plan.”
That game plan included jumping out to a 3-1 lead in the first inning and going up 4-1 in the second. Wilder plated another run in the fourth inning before tying the game in the sixth.
Will Watson was a terror from the plate for the Sox, going 4-for-4 with three singles and a triple. Burlington’s third baseman also scored twice.
In what Corcoran described as the best baseball game he has ever played in, Burlington was able to just edge Mount Vernon.
“That game was electrifying,” he said. “It was awesome.”
Burlington plated two runs in the seventh inning to secure the win.
“We found a way to wiggle our way and come out on top,” Avila said of the victory. “Now we just have to come out again and play our game.”