Sports -- May 04, 2006

Published on Thu, May 4, 2006
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SPORTS
by Jack Kintner

Blaine takes second place in league play

Blaine lost the season finale to Meridian last Tuesday night, 4-2, in extra innings, to finish the year with an 8-4 (11-9) record and second place in league play. The Borderites used five pitchers in the 9-inning game, with two more than usual, and held the Trojans to a tie until in the Meridian half of the ninth when Meridian’s Tim Sorenson belted a Ryan Johnson fastball for a two-run walk-off home run.
Blaine got doubles from Joe Paciorek and Aaron Johnson and singles from Rob Bleecker and Garret Borrow. Bleecker started the contest and gave way in turn to Ryan Henley, Ryan Shockey and Joe Paciorek. Ryan Johnson had just come in when the ax fell.
Blaine’s baseball team begins post-season play this Saturday, May 6, at the district tournament at Granite Falls. Blaine plays Lakewood at 11 a.m., and plays a second game at 2 p.m. “It’s a double elimination tournament,” said Blaine head baseball coach Gary Clausen, “So if we win two on Saturday we’ll go to state and just play for seeding. If we lose two we’re headed home. If we split then we play again on Tuesday.”

Blaine off to district soccer

Blaine finished the season last week losing to Meridian two-nil on Wednesday in a bruising, poorly called home contest 2-0 followed by a 2-1 shootout victory at Mt. Baker Friday afternoon.

Blaine played well against the once beaten Trojans, Michael Waslohn pushing hard on offense from the left side despite having broken three toes in Blaine’s previous match against LC.

Things got a bit ugly in the second half when Casey McCabe and Dee Kean both got some hard knocks that deserved but did not receive calls. To be fair, no coach teaches this kind of rough play, including Meridian’s respected head soccer coach Shawn Cunningham, and except for these two occasions Blaine gave as good as they got.
Michael Waslohn, who scored four goals against the Mounties last month, once again teamed up with keeper Anton Baydak for the win, scoring his lone goal toward the end of the second half.

The game was played in Mt. Baker’s football stadium, 13 feet narrower than Blaine’s well-groomed pitch at the Pipe. The Mounties immediately put this to advantage with junior Kyle Kimber, the league’s only flip-thrower, who does a handspring to put the ball into play from the sideline with impressive accuracy and distance.

Two minutes into the match he threw long to a group of players near the Blaine goal and Tegan Chapman emerged to boot home the score. The game continued scoreless until Waslohn’s goal on an assist from Ryan Tripp and Patrick Mulholland.

In the fifth and last shootout round Baydak dove to his left on the Mountaineer kicker’s attempt, barely tipping the ball into the post with his fingertips and then catching the rebound to deny the goal and earn a 5-4 edge in shootout goals, giving Blaine the winning point on Odi Johannesson’s fifth and final kick.

With the split Blaine clinched third place in the Whatcom County League and a trip to district play. Blaine will face a district opponent that is yet to be determined this next week. For more information call Connie Pilon in the Blaine high school athletic department at 332-6045.