Legion Baseball: Hanford Flames End I-5 Toyota/Mountain Dew’s Season
EXTRAS: Flames Score Four Runs in Eighth Inning to Eliminate I-5 Toyota
By Matt Baide
I-5 Toyota/Mountain Dew battled back from two different deficits, including scoring three runs in the bottom of the seventh, but didn’t have enough as the Hanford Flames won 13-9 in eight innings in a State Legion AAA baseball game at Ed Wheeler Field on Monday.
The loss ends the season for I-5 Toyota.
“You take away one inning. We had two extra inning games, last night and tonight. Both games, we’re one hit away from winning both of them,” I-5 Toyota coach Tommy Grunenfelder said. “It just didn’t happen and you need to have things like that happen in these games.
Dakota Hawkins was 4 for 5 with a double, home run, three runs and an RBI. Tyson Guerrero was 3 for 5 with a double, home run, three runs, three runs and two RBIs and Adrian Boites was 2 for 4 with a double, two RBIs and a run.
I-5 Toyota struggled on the mound, using five pitchers in the game while committing three errors on defense.
“They’re obviously a good fastball hitting team and all our guys were having trouble finding more than one pitch they could throw for a strike,” Grunenfelder said. “They were just able to sit on the fastball.”
Hanford led 2-0 before Boites’ double brought home two runs to tie the game. Gabe O’Neil knocked in Boites to put I-5 Toyota up 3-2 after two innings. Guerrero padded the lead in the third inning with a 2-run home run.
Hanford answered in a big way in the fourth inning, scoring seven runs to take a 9-5 lead. Teegan Zillyett hit and RBI-single in the bottom of the fourth to cut the lead to 9-6.
Hanford held that lead until the bottom of the seventh.
Hawkins led the seventh off with a solo home run. Guerrero stepped up next and hit a double followed by Kyle Trout reaching base on a hit by pitch. Kolby Sharp hit a single to load the bases, and Max Miller hit a single to bring home two runs and tie the game at 9.
“That was great. We were a swing away from winning the game,” Grunenfelder said. “We put ourselves in that position and the kids played hard.”
Lane Douglass and Zillyett each had a chance to end the game with a runner on third, but a pop out and a ground out sent the game to extra innings.
Hanford was able to load the bases with no outs, and a sacrifice fly brought home the winning run, followed by a 2-RBI double and an RBI-single for a four-run lead.
I-5 Toyota tried to come back one more time in the bottom of the inning, but a Hanford double play ended the game.
Even with the loss, Grunenfelder was happy with the team’s progress throughout the season.
“They did great. They improved all summer long,” Grunenfelder said. “It was a great bunch of guys. I enjoyed them and hopefully we just keep building.”
Toyota-Mt. Dew Out Slugs Shadle Park to Open State Tournament
By Jordan Nailon
It took nearly three hours for the I-5 Toyota/Mountain Dew American Legion baseball team to take down Shadle Park 18-10 at Wheeler Field on Saturday but the hometown fans were already making plans for the celebratory after party by the bottom of the first inning.
For those who saw it unfold in real time, it was easy to understand why the I-5 Toyota faithful were eager to cut loose.
The pomp and circumstance of the state tournament opening ceremonies was still lingering in the air as the hometown team set out on a long and winding hit parade that brought their first eight batters of the game around to score. A run in the second inning and another run in the third inning pushed the I-5 Toyota lead to ten runs and starting pitcher Drew Rose was chugging along with a full head of steam. Through three innings, Rose had surrendered just one hit and no runs while racking up six strikeouts.
A ten-run mercy rule ending seemed inevitable as an army of I-5 Toyota fans clanked cold cans of Mt. Dew down the rightfield foul line and brainstormed dinner plans by twilight. That’s when the Shadle Park offense sparked to life.
After Rose returned to the mound to start the fourth inning, the mood quickly soured among the mass of home team fans. The first five batters Rose faced reached base, thanks to four hits and an error, before he was lifted in favor of Camden Ryan. Like water on a grease fire, Ryan walked the first two batters he faced before a pair of hits and an error pushed the flames, and Shockers run tally, ever higher.
In full scramble mode, the I-5 Toyota coaching staff called on their southpaw relief specialist Dylan Stakelin to snuff out the surging Shockers threat. Stakelin allowed a double to the first batter he faced, which tied the game at 10, before settling in and coaxing a pair of lazy infield pop flies to end the five-alarm inning.
“You’ve got to be prepared to pitch every night. My goal was to minimize the damage as much as I could,” said Stakelin, who had to warm up in the bullpen in a frenzy due to the emergency nature of his appearance. “After that first hit I just took a deep breath and on that next batter, I was determined not to make the same mistake.”
Stakelin wound up pitching 1 ⅔ innings in relief, allowing zero runs and stranding four baserunners in order to earn the win. Dakota Hawkins entered the game in the sixth inning to slam the door on Shadle Park with five strikeouts and zero runs allowed over two innings.
“I thought we played really well besides that one half inning,” said I-5 Toyota coach Tom Grunenfelder. “It was just one of those weird baseball things.”
Grunenfelder insisted that he was never nervous during the course of the game. Not even when his team surrendered ten straight runs and rolled through three pitchers in that nightmare fourth inning.
“I knew we were going to score more runs,” said Grunefelder. “I knew that if we were able to get one more inning out of Dylan that we’d be able to get one more at bat for Teegan (Zillyett), and that wound up being a big at bat,” added Grunenfelder.
Zillyett was 3 for 4 on the day with two runs scored and three RBIs. The big at bat referenced by his coach came in the fifth inning when Zillyett doubled to score Lane Douglass and Max Miller and break the uncomfortable tie.
Douglass was 2 for 4 in the game with a walk, four runs scored and an RBI. Tyson Guerrero was also 2 for 4 with a walk, three runs scored and a triple. Nole Wollan signaled the start of the evening’s hitting contest in the first inning when he blasted a three-run home run over the left field fence.
Zillyett, from Montesano, said he enjoys his spot in the I-5 Toyota lineup where he is protected on one side by Douglass, and then backed up by the big bats of Wollan, Dakota Hawkins and Guerrero.
“I tend to get a lot of fastballs and I just try to hit those when I can. I try not to miss them,” said Zillyett.
Early Miscues Sink I-5 Toyota Versus Lakeside
I-5 Toyota/Mt. Dew dropped into the loser’s bracket in the American Legion tournament with a 4-3 extra inning loss to Lakeside Recovery here at Wheeler Field on Sunday night.
Lakeside took a 2-0 lead in the first inning thanks in part to a pair of costly defensive lapses. Shaky defense reared its head again in the fifth inning and spelled the end of the outing for starting pitcher Brandon White, who surrendered three runs (one earned), on six hits in 4 ⅓ innings of work.
Tyson Guerrero took over for White with one out in the fifth inning and tossed 3 ⅔ innings of shutout baseball that allowed I-5 Toyota to eventually scratch their way back into the game. Guerrero finished with five strikeouts and just one hit allowed in a longer outing than he was expecting.
Offensively, the hometown team plated their first run in the fifth inning and then mustered two clutch runs in the seventh inning in order to send the game to extra frames. Guerrero was 3 for 5 at the plate with an RBI to tie the game up in the seventh inning. Adrian Boites, Nole Wollan and Dakota Hawkins each added a pair of hits to the local squad’s cause.
Still, I-5 Toyota wound up marooning 15 runners on base.
“We had like 12 hits but only scored three runs. We didn’t hit when we needed to,” said Lane Douglass, who was frustrated after a rare hitless day at the plate.
His lamenting was not limited to the offensive effort either.
“It was just a frustrating game. You can’t make those kinds of mistakes against a good team,” said Douglass in reference to his team’s six errors on the day.
Daniel Fagerness wound up taking the loss for I-5 Toyota after entering to pitch in the ninth inning. He allowed one hit and struck out two batters in the ill-fated effort.
I-5 TOYOTA 18, SHOCKERS 10
Shadle Park 000 (10)00 0 — 10 9 5
I-5/Mt. Dew 811 026 X — 18 12 3
Batteries: Shadle Park — Julian Gonzalez, Blake Wells (5), Garrett Primm (6) and Miguel Salvador Resendiz-Stowe; I-5 Toyota — Drew Rose, Camden Ryan (4), Dylan Stakelin (4), Dakota Hawkins (6) and Adrian Boites-Arellano
LAKESIDE 4, I-5 TOYOTA (10 inn.)
I-5/Mt. Dew 000 010 200 0 — 3 13 6
Lakeside 200 100 000 1 — 4 8 0
Batteries: I-5 Toyota — Brandon White, Ty Guerrero (5), Daniel Fagerness (9) and Boites; Lakeside — Justin Buckner, Tyler Odegard (7) and Mahovlich
FLAMES 13, I-5 TOYOTA 9
Hanford 110 700 04 — 13 18 3
I-5 Toyota 032 100 30 — 9 13 3
Batteries: Hanford — Abraham Rheinschmidt, Ty Crowder (3) and Gage Young; I-5 Toyota — Cole WIntrip, Camden Ryan (3), Daniel Fagerness (4), Dylan Stakelin (4), Dakota Hawkins (8) and Adrian Boites, Lane Douglass (8)