Saturday’s 2B Baseball: Miscues Cost Pirates in District Title Game
DUEL: Camden Ryan Solid in Six Innings, but Wahkiakum’s Two Unearned Runs Just Enough Offense in 2-0 Victory; Pirates to Face Ocosta in Regionals
By Aaron VanTuyl
For The Chronicle
The Pirates don’t need any sort of treasure map to find the silver linings in Saturday’s loss.
Yes, Wahkiakum came out on top, 2-0, in the District 4 championship game in Chehalis. And yes, the Mules get to play on Adna’s home field next weekend in the regional playoffs.
But Adna’s mistakes in the tight loss came in the field, and they’re correctable — plays the Pirates make most of the time, coach Jon Rooklidge noted.
“The funny thing is, we’ve hung our hat on defense this year. That’s been our thing. And two unearned runs today turned out to be the difference,” Rooklidge said. “At the same time, they’re a really good squad. Obviously I don’t have to explain to anybody how good their pitching is — it’s that good.”
Beau Carlson singled in the top of the first inning to score Zach Brown, who had reached on an error, for Wahkiakum’s first run. And Chance Cothren drew a walk — the only base on balls issued by Adna starter Camden Ryan — in the fifth inning, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt, and scored when a ground ball to first was thrown into no-man’s land in an attempt to catch Cothren at third.
Beyond that, Ryan was solid in his six innings of work, holding the Mules to just three hits and striking out six.
“He pounded the zone, had a great breaking pitch today and threw it hard,” Rooklidge said. “He really shut their bats down, and not a lot of people have been able to do that.”
Ryan also minimized the damage in what could have been a rough fifth inning. After Cothren scored, the Pirates intentionally walked Ashden Niemeyer to fill an empty first base, only to see Carlson single to load the bases.
Terris Record then laid down a bunt on a suicide squeeze play, but after a long discussion the officials ruled the bunt a foul ball and sent the runner back to third. Ryan then fanned Record and Anderson to end the threat.
“It’s the best I’ve felt in a long time,” Ryan said of his six innings on the mound. “It’s a good start for the playoffs.”
Wahkiakum’s pitching and defense, meanwhile, was solid. Anderson gave up four hits and struck out five without a walk in five innings to get the win, and Zach Brown struck out three and walked one in the last two innings for the save.
“They’re a pretty good team. The best in our league, for sure, and they battled really well,” Ryan said. “They deserved that win, and we just need to clean up our defense a little bit, and I think we can have a shot at beating them.”
Anderson also picked off a runner at first base and Wahkiakum turned a double play to end the fourth inning. The Mules improved to 19-0 against 2B competition with the win.
“To beat them you have to do something almost perfect, and then you’ve got to get something extra, and then you’ve got to have a couple things that maybe fall your way,” Rooklidge said. “And those things didn’t happen today, but at the same time it’s a great district championship baseball game. I think the fans got their money’s worth, and we’re going to live to see another weekend of baseball.”
Chance Fay went 2 for 3 for the Pirates. Ryan was 1 for 3 with a double and Cole Fay added a single. Sawyer Burdick, in right field, made a diving catch in the sixth inning to save a hit.
The game was a rematch of last year’s district finals. The Pirates won, but didn’t make it out of regionals the following weekend; Wahkiakum, with just two seniors on its roster, went on to finish third in the state tournament.
“It’s not a big deal, because they lost it last year and they still came back and went to the final four,” Ryan said of the loss. “So, you know, all the roads are pretty equal.”
The roads continue with the regional round of the state playoffs on Saturday. Adna (19-4) returns to W.F. West High School to face Ocosta at 10 a.m., followed by a 1 p.m. game between Rainier and District 1/2 champion Orcas Island. The winners then play for a trip to the State 2B semifinals, scheduled for May 25 in Centralia.
Wahkiakum (19-1) plays the No. 3 team out of District 5 at 1 p.m. next Saturday in Adna.
Notes: The teams met once in the regular season, with Wahkiakum winning 3-2 in extra innings in Cathlamet on a walk-off home run by Luke Brown. … Kalama beat Ocosta, 20-1, in the district tournament’s third-place game, and Rainier beat Toutle Lake 3-1 in the fifth-place game.
MULES 2, PIRATES 0
Wahkiakum 100 010 0 — 2 3 0
Adna 000 000 0 — 0 4 4
Batteries: Wahkiakum — James Anderson, Zach Brown (6) and Tristan Collupy; Adna — Camden Ryan, Conner Weed (7) and Cole Fay