West Seattle’s Jake Magera, #15, drops the ball as an O’Dea player makes it to first during Thursday’s Metro League Tournament.
SLIDESHOW:West Seattle still snags second seed
By Tim Clinton
O'Dea ran away with the 2014 Metro League Baseball Tournament trophy and the No. 1 state berth that goes with it Thursday with a 7-2 win over West Seattle, but the Wildcats still got one heck of a consolation prize.
Coach Velko Vitalich's team is going to state, too.
"Second in this league is not bad, and we're still going to state," said Vitalich. "You got to give credit to O'Dea. They hit the ball hard."
In spite of the loss the Wildcats advance to the regional level of the state tournament Saturday, May 24 at 10 a.m. or 1 p.m. against an opponent to be determined.
That was the same site where the team went last year -- and snagged a state final four berth.
"We're going to state and we're proud of that," said Vitalich.
O'Dea got the early jump on West Seattle with a run in the bottom of the second at Mel Olson Stadium at Steve Cox Memorial Park in West Seattle, as Scottie Graham doubled and scored on an error.
The Wildcats answered with two in the top of the third.
Jamie Maples singled to left to lead off the inning and advanced to second on a Larry Jensen bunt, but it wasn't small ball that paid off in the runs.
Cameron Slader launched a deep fly ball to left that the fielder tripped in pursuit of just before it went over the top of the fence for a two-run home run.
But the lead was short lived, as O'Dea scored three each in the fourth and fifth with the help of five doubles to wrest the win away.
"They're a good hitting team and our defense did not play to what they're capable of," Vitalich said. "It just wasn't our night, but there will be other days and other games."
The Wildcats are assured of that.
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