The Mead baseball team isn’t in contention for the Greater Spokane League championship.
After the season is over, though, the Panthers may look back on their 13-3 win over visiting Gonzaga Prep on Thursday as pivotal to how they finish the season.
Mead batted around in the sixth inning, scoring nine runs to send the Bullpups to their sixth straight defeat.
The victory, coupled with Mead’s 3-2 win in 10 innings at G-Prep on Tuesday, gives the Panthers (8-6) the tiebreaker over the Bullpups (8-6) if they finish tied.
Junior right-handed pitcher Nick Sagendorf (4-1), coming off his best outing last week in a 2-0 shutout against rival Mt. Spokane, didn’t have his best stuff Thursday. But he found another gear in the sixth inning after G-Prep scored two in the fifth to pull within 4-3.
“It definitely wasn’t my best game,” said the 6-foot-5 Sagendorf, who had 12 strikeouts and allowed just four hits against the Wildcats last week.
Against G-Prep, Sagendorf limited the Bullpups to four hits while striking out five and walking three.
In the fifth, he hit the leadoff man and two batters later gave up his final walk. After getting a flyout for the second out, the Bullpups’ David Machtolf hit a two-run double.
Sagendorf responded in the sixth, getting G-Prep in order.
Then Sagendorf’s teammates took care of the rest. Eleven Panthers went to the plate and sophomore Dan Mattingly had two hits and knocked in a run.
Paul Miller ended the game with his second hit in the inning, a run-scoring single, to go with an RBI double.
The Panthers hope to land the second seed to the district tournament.
“I feel like we’re starting to peak,” Sagendorf said. “This was really important for us going into the playoffs.”
Sagendorf dug down for something extra in the sixth.
“The curveball was off and on and kind of got shaky in the middle of the game,” he said. “I pulled myself through and focused on my mechanics. I just stayed within myself.”
Mead coach Jason Reich thought about lifting Sagendorf.
“He changed in the sixth,” Reich said. “In the fifth it looked like he was starting to lose it. We talked and the sixth inning was totally different for him.”