Tuesday’s Prep Baseball: Loggers and Tigers Settle for a Split in Tight C2BL Doubleheader
By Jordan Nailon / firstname.lastname@example.org
ONALASKA — “It must be a slow news day.”
That’s the sort of line a sandbagging baseball coach would say to a reporter in order to throw them off the trail of what promised to be a great league doubleheader. In fact, in advance of their meeting here on Tuesday both the skippers from Napavine and Onalaska downplayed their team’s chances to compete. Instead, they deferred to the quality of their opponent and wondered why anyone would want to watch.
The media was not fooled this go round, though. Instead a contingent of radio and print narrators bore witness while the Tigers and Loggers played out a tight set of ball games that resulted in one victory for each team.
Onalaska took the first game 4-3 on a walk-off single by Matt Kurzeika. The Tigers rebounded in Game 2 with a 4-2 win in the nightcap.
“It’s just like that every day in this league. It’s a battle every night and that’s just the way it is in this league,” said Onalaska coach Rocky Stanley.
Tristen Lawrence started the first game on the mound for the Loggers and had to settle for a no-decision after hurling six innings of one run baseball. He allowed four hits and struck out three along the way.
After plating three runners in the first inning following a bizarre defensive interference call at third base the Loggers bats went silent for the next five innings.
Napavine, meanwhile, scored one run in the fifth inning and then two runs in the top of the seventh inning in order to tie the game up at three. Brett Bradshaw drove Tristen Ellison and Gavin Parker in that do-or-die seventh inning.
“Brett came in pinch hit and had a nice little knock up the middle to tie it up so that was nice to see from a senior guy,” said Napavine coach Brian Demarest.
With momentum curving away from them the Loggers refused to quit hacking and wound up chipping away for the winning run in the bottom half of the seventh. AJ Volk got things started with a double to right-centerfield before Matt Kurzeika drove him in with a game-winning single.
Volk was the only batter with multiple hits in the first game for Onalaska. Cooper Viggers added a hit and a RBI.
For Napavine it was Seth Butler on the mound to start the day before being relieved in the fifth inning by Ben Woodrum.
Ellison and Jack Darden led Napavine with two hits each in the opener. Darden added a RBI.
Demarest noted that the comeback attempt, however futile, was key to his team’s success later in the day.
“That first game we gave them two runs and it was disappointing. Our kids were not real happy about it of course,” the Tigers’ coach explained. “Even if we didn’t win, to carry that momentum over to the second game was big. I mean, we’ve been having trouble scoring runs lately.”
In the second game Napavine seized on that newfound momentum when Seth Butler drove in leadoff man Laythan Demarest with a single in the first inning. With Demarest also taking care of the pitching duties Napavine was able to hold the Loggers scoreless into the fifth frame. The Tigers even extend their lead to 2-0 by the middle of the fifth thanks largely to a pair of infield roughage induced errors.
Onalaska answered back in the bottom of the fifth though when Kyle Hamilton hit a double, Volk drew a walk and then Ashton Haight launched a long single that scored both runners.
The sixth inning proved to be the Loggers undoing, though, as Woodrum coaxed a leadoff walk that ended the day for starting pitcher Tanner McLean. Parker then came up with a single through the tall grass. One batter later Scott Burdick looped a single into centerfield to score both runners and give his team its lasting advantage.
The sixth inning began with Demarest still pitching for the Tigers but after he recorded two outs he issued two walks and was replaced by Woodrum. Woodrum promptly recorded a strikeout to end the inning and then notched a 1-2-3 seventh inning to earn the four-out save and preserve Demarest’s win.
Parker was the only Tiger with two hits in the second game. Darden finished with two RBI.
McLean suffered the tough luck loss for Onalaska with just two earned runs allowed in five innings of work. Matt Kurzeika threw the final two innings and did not allow a run.
Demarest was pleased with the way Burdick, a freshman second baseman, was able to deliver under pressure with the game-winning hit and a barrage of hard hit balls during his short stint in the infield.
“He came in in a pinch hit role, knocked in a run and then flashed some leather there so that’s good to see. It’s always good to see things like that out of a freshman because it’s going to pay off in the future,” said Demarest.
The Tigers’ coach also had notes on Onalaska after the game.
“They’re scrappy. You don’t get a lot of easy stuff off of them. Their pitchers keep you off balance. They make the routine plays. They’re not flashy but they’re scrappy as hell and they do things the right way,” he said.
With a loss fresh on his lips at the end of the day Stanley was less enthused with the split result in the doubleheader.
“I thought we played pretty well. We didn’t play our best in the second game but you’ve got to give Napavine credit too,” Stanley said. “You might say we were both lucky to come away with the split.”
Napavine (5-4, 4-3 league) will host Adna on Friday while Onalaska (6-3, 5-2 league) will play at Toledo on Wednesday and then in Morton versus Morton-White Pass on Friday.
Adna Sweeps Rainier
ADNA — The Pirates had a walk off win in Game 1 and had a big fifth inning in Game 2 to earn a sweep of Rainier in a Central 2B League baseball doubleheader here on Tuesday.
Adna won the first game, 6-5, in walk off fashion. Sawyer Burdick started on the mound and Keegin Dollarhyde and Abel Ingle pitched in relief.
“All three did a nice job. Dollarhyde came in and kept us in the game for a couple innings in the middle and did a good job there,” Adna coach Jon Rooklidge said. “Abel Ingle came into a tough situation, bases loaded jam and allowed one run. A tremendous job by two relievers to keep pitch counts low.”
At the plate, Cole Fay was 2-for-3 with two RBI and Elmer Loose was 2-for-4 with a RBI. Levi Gates and Ingle each had a RBI single for the Pirates.
Down 5-4 going into the bottom of the seventh, Chance Fay hit a single and a sacrifice bunt allowed Gates to knock him in with a single to tie the game. With the bases loaded, Cole Fay hit an infield RBI single that allowed Gates to score the winning run.
“We hung in there and fought back and had a big fourth with three runs. We came back and tied it later and actually trailed to beat them in the seventh,” Rooklidge said. “It was just a good win, we hung around the whole way with a chance to win at the end, that’s all you can hope for.”
The Pirates won Game 2, 6-4. Gates started on the mound and Gavin Guard and Ingle pitched in relief.
Matthew Scheuber was 3-for-3 and had a bases loaded double in the fifth to break the game open. Gates had a hit and Ingle had a RBI sacrifice fly.
The Pirates scored one run in the first before scoring five runs in the fifth. Rainier scored one run in the fourth and fifth and two runs in the sixth but couldn’t muster a comeback.
“Two big games, we were able to stay at the top of the standings,” Rooklidge said. “They were good, competitive type playoff games. We haven’t played our best yet.”
Adna (9-2, 6-1) travels to Napavine on Friday for a C2BL doubleheader.
Centralia Takes Down Rochester
Jeremy Wood almost went the distance on the mound for Centralia but was still able to lead the Tigers to a 9-3 win over Rochester in an Evergreen 2A Conference baseball game at Wheeler Field on Tuesday.
Wood pitched into the seventh before handing the ball to Derek Beairsto for the final outs of the game. Wood was also 2-for-3 at the plate with a double.
“Wood didn’t strike out a bunch. We gave up the three unearned runs in the second, four errors that inning,” Centralia coach Rex Ashmore said. “They had the bases loaded with one out and was able to get a couple of pop outs to get out of trouble. After that, we played better defense and he was able to keep his pitch count down.”
Beairsto was 2-for-4 with three RBI and Jackson Hull had a two-RBI double in the first inning. Cameron Erickson had two hits and two RBI for the Tigers.
Rochester’s Bodey Smith was 2-for-4 at the plate.
The Tigers scored three in the first inning with the help of Hull’s two-RBI double. Centralia had trouble in the top of the second with four errors to allow the Warriors to tie the game, but the Tigers answered with two runs in the bottom of the second and three runs in the third. Centralia added an insurance run in the sixth.
“We didn’t play too bad a ball game. We swung the bats real well and took advantage of what they gave us,” Ashmore said. “The second inning was disappointing but I’m proud of the way Jeremy threw.”
Centralia (6-3, 2-2) and Rochester (2-4, 1-3) play again on Wednesday in Rochester.
Max Taylor Walks Off W.F. West Over Black Hills
With two outs and the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh, W.F. West’s Max Taylor stepped up to the plate and hit it over the left fielder’s head to bring home the winning run in a 3-2 Bearcat victory over Black Hills in an EvCo baseball game in Chehalis on Tuesday.
Brock Jones started on the mound and threw five innings, allowing four hits, one earned run and one walk while striking out 11 batters. Daniel Fagerness came on in relief and pitched two innings, allowing no hits, no runs and one walk with three strikeouts.
At the plate, Lane Douglass was 2-for-3 with a triple and two runs and Taylor added two hits. Jones had two hits including a double and a RBI and Leandre Gaines had two hits including a double.
W.F. West scored a run in the first for an early advantage but the Wolves tallied two in the third for a 2-1 lead. The Bearcats scored a run in the sixth to tie the game.
In the seventh, Fagerness hit a single followed by a Luke Bennett single. After Cyrus Bunker walked to load the bases, Taylor knocked in the game winning run.
“We were a little sluggish coming out of spring break. A week with no games, our offense, we struck out eight times. That’s too much, especially with runners in scoring position,” W.F. West coach Bryan Bullock said. “Brock (Jones) and Daniel (Fagerness) did a nice job on the mound, giving us a chance and we pulled it out in the bottom of the seventh.”
W.F. West (8-1, 4-0) takes on Black Hills again on Wednesday in Tumwater.
LOGGERS 4, TIGERS 3
Napavine 000 010 2 — 3 7 3
Onalaska 300 000 1 — 4 11 4
Batteries: Napavine — Seth Butler, Ben Woodrum (5) and Tristen Ellison; Onalaska — Tristen Lawrence, AJ Volk (7), Matt Kurzeika (7) and Ashton Haight
TIGERS 4, LOGGERS 2
Napavine 100 012 0 — 4 7 2
Onalaska 000 020 0 — 2 2 2
Batteries: Napavine— Laythan Demarest, Ben Woodrum (6) and Tristen Ellison; Onalaska — Tanner McLean, Matt Kurzeika (6) and Ashton Haight
TIGERS 9, WARRIORS 3
Rochester 030 000 0 — 3 6 2
Centralia 323 001 X — 9 11 4
Batteries: Rochester — Keegan Goldrick, Jayden Lancaster (5), Jared Winters (6) and Tyler Soderback; Centralia — Jeremy Wood, Derek Beairsto (7) and Cameron Erickson, Colby Steele (7)
BEARCATS 3, WOLVES 2
Black Hills 002 000 0 — 2 4 2
W.F. West 100 001 1 — 3 10 1
Batteries: Black Hills — Wright, Simmons (6) and Z. Loveless; W.F. West — Brock Jones, Leandre Gaines (6), Daniel Fagerness (6) and Lane Douglass
PIRATES 6, MOUNTAINEERS 5
Rainier 210 011 0 — 5 7 3
Adna 000 301 2 — 6 9 2
Batteries: Rainier — Cruise, Coleman (5), Lofgren (7) and Green; Adna — Sawyer Burdick, Keegin Dollarhyde (4), Abel Ingle (6) and Cole Fay
PIRATES 6, MOUNTAINEERS 4
Rainier 000 112 0 — 4 3 2
Adna 100 050 X — 6 5 2
Batteries: Rainier — Lofgren, Coleman (5), Jesky (6) and Green; Adna — Levi Gates, Gavin Guard (5), Abel Ingle (6) and Cole Fay