Try to think back to the last time three Seattle teams won on the same day. Honestly, I can’t remember that ever happening. You’d likely have to go back to last season when the Sonics were still in town, the Huskies were still playing, and the Mariners were in the midst of Spring Training, and even then it would have been a fluke occurrence. And yet for the first time in ages, that is exactly what happened yesterday.
The day’s events kicked off while most people were still at work. The Dawgs, playing in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in three years, tipped off around 2:00 PM in Portland, and then commenced to run all over Mississippi State, winning by a final of of 71-58. In a game that wasn’t nearly as close as the score would indicate, the Huskies thoroughly dominated the second half, forcing the Bulldogs of MSU into cheap fouls and defensive traps with their superior quickness on the floor. Quincy Pondexter handled the bulk of the scoring, finishing with 23 points, while Jon Brockman chipped in 10 to go along with his 14 rebounds. Washington also got great efforts from Elston Turner and Venoy Overton off the bench; Turner recorded 7 points in 18 solid minutes, while Overton disrupted the opponent with his manic energy and relentless defense. Even better, every single active player on the roster got into the game, with seldom-used Joe Wolfinger contributing one point in the waning moments of the second half.
The evening got underway with a parade through downtown Seattle celebrating the inaugural Sounders FC match. Leading from Pioneer Square to Qwest Field, city leaders joined with Sounders FC brass and a bevy of fans as they made their way into the stadium amidst a fervor comparable to the one found at Seahawks games. Following pregame ceremonies, the Sounders FC unraveled the New York Red Bulls with a 3-0 stomping before a capacity crowd of over 32,000. Forward Fredy Montero made his name known to Seattle fans by having a role in all three of Seattle’s goals; he sent in the first and last goals, and set up midfielder Brad Evans on the second. Goalkeeper and area native Kasey Keller made two clutch saves on the only shots on goal, and the Sounders FC were propelled to victory by an attacking offense and a pesky defensive effort that would have made Venoy Overton proud.
The night concluded with a Seattle Mariners Cactus League game in Peoria, where a split-squad team polished off the San Diego Padres 10-8. The M’s received a home run from outfielder Mike Wilson (his third in two days), who continues to impress and is making a serious push for consideration on the big-league roster. The game also saw Ken Griffey, Jr. take to the field for the first time this Spring, manning left field for the first of what should become an intermittent pattern this season.
All in all, the day was a complete success for the city of Seattle. We were represented by all our ballclubs that took to the field, and pulled off three more victories in one day than our Husky football team won all last season. The memories of 2008 are quickly fading away, and 2009 continues to be a fantastic sports year for our city. Go Dawgs, Go Sounders FC, and Go M’s!