This one was so wild, wacky and just plain strange that it deserves a second look. Shoot, maybe a third and fourth and fifth. The Class 3A state championship game between Mercer Island and Shorewood Saturday became a twisting, turning ride of emotional highs and lows wrapped together for the players and coaches.

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This one was so wild, wacky and just plain strange that it deserves a second look. Shoot, maybe a third and fourth and fifth. The Class 3A state championship game between Mercer Island and Shorewood Saturday became a twisting, turning ride of emotional highs and lows wrapped together for the players and coaches.

As far as high school title games go, there has been a high bar set for craziest game I’ve seen thanks to Chiawana’s epic comeback against Camas in Class 4A football in 2014. But this one, well, I think it surpasses it.

Let’s recap what happened and try to clear the air on the official decisions made. In case you missed it, you can read the game recap here and look at this play-by-play of tweets and video.

– Mercer Island and Shorewood were locked in a scoreless battle as the game progressed past the regulation seven innings.

– Mercer Island loaded the bases in the bottom of the eighth with two outs, and this is where things got weird.

– Anthony Scalzo was at-bat, Josh Stenberg at first, Brandon Lawler at second and Noah Hsue at third. Cole McKisson, Shorewood’s starter, threw four straight balls to Scalzo.

– Mercer Island erupted from the dugout. Scalzo spiked his bat in excitement and celebrated as he made his way to first. About halfway down the line, Scalzo was mobbed by teammates. The celebration made its way toward the mound before someone told Scalzo he needed to touch first, which he did.

– Noah Hsue had clearly come home and touched the plate. He was the winning run and for all intent and purposes, the game was over.

– But then the umps, who were still on the field, signaled out. In the press box, we had wondered about that call because the rule, as was interpreted by the media folk there, was that the runners all had to advance safely.

– Mercer Island went from celebrating to crestfallen. Shorewood went from heartbreak to pure joy. Play on.

– Or so we thought. What followed was about a 20-minute delay as the umps tried to make sure they got the call right. The umps conferred, then talked to the coaches. Then they talked to each other. Then they called down their evaluator, a former professional ump. Then they talked to the tournament director. I believe the official scorekeeper was involved.

– We had very little communication throughout this, so we were left to guess what was going on. Eventually, the umps told the teams to get ready to play on, and so they did.

– As the game progressed, we were told in the press box that it was doing so under protest. Apparently, Mercer Island had found a rule in the dugout that proved the run should have scored. The umps told them, per coach Dominic Woody after the game, that they couldn’t honor it because they can’t use a rule book or phone in the dugout.

– It didn’t matter, as Josh Stenberg ended it eventually, blasting a no-doubt solo home run to right in the 13th inning to give the Islanders their second walk-off win of the game. This time it counted.

– After the game, we found out that the runner going from second to third, Lawler, was the one who was called out. The umps ruled he didn’t advance a base, and thus made the decision.

– Mercer Island players also said after the game, they were pretty certain the call was going to go against them from an early point. Instead of hanging their heads, they adopted the motto: Let’s win this twice.

 

Here is what some were saying after the game

Mercer Island coach Dominic Woody: “I’m so proud of our guys to continue to battle, deal with adversity. I’ve said three times, how often do you get to win a state championship twice in one day? Makes the story all that much better as I get older.”

Josh Stenberg: “It’s the best way to end it, it’s better than how we did previously. We won it twice, though. It’s hard to describe.”

Anthony Scalzo: “I’ve never seen or heard anything like that. Unbelievable.”

 

Here are some extra facts

– Shorewood played 12 extra innings in its last four games, all must-win contests. All three of the games that went into extras finished with a 1-0 final score.

– In those four games, which spanned a week, Nick Edney caught all 40 innings.

– Shorewood pitchers tossed 35 innings in the four games and allowed four runs (all of which came in one game).

– Mercer Island won its first state baseball title in school history.

– Will Mansfield started the week trying for a golf title. He helped the Islanders bring home third. He then came in both games this weekend in relief to pick up the win in each contest.