Wednesday’s 2A Baseball: Spudders Stun Bearcats in District Semifinals
PITCHERS DUEL: W.F. West and Ridgefield Each Record One Hit in 1-0 Spudder Win
By Matt Baide
W.F. West allowed just one run on one hit, but that was enough for Ridgefield to secure a 1-0 win in a District 4 2A baseball tournament semifinal game at Ed Wheeler Field in Centralia on Wednesday.
W.F. West will face R.A. Long on Saturday at 1 p.m. at Wheeler Field in the consolation semifinals. If the Bearcats win, they will take on the winner of Woodland and Tumwater for the final berth to regionals.
The two teams each had one hit thanks in large part to the stellar pitching performances from both teams. Brock Jones started on the mound for W.F. West, throwing five innings and allowing one hit, one run and two walks while striking out seven batters. Daniel Fagerness pitched one inning and allowed no hits or runs.
“Brock did exactly what we needed him to do. He was spot on against a good hitting team, that’s a good team over there and he really shut them down,” Bullock said. “Defensively, we actually played pretty well, just had the one throwing mistake. It’s not one thing that loses a game, it’s a culmination of a lot of things. We know we’ve got to find ways to score runs.”
Ridgefield’s Spencer Andersen pitched five innings, allowing one hit and two walks while striking out five batters. Cody Wallace pitched the final two innings, allowing no hits with two strikeouts.
Brit Lusk recorded the only hit for W.F. West.
The Bearcats faced Andersen in the first game of the season, scoring two runs on one hit in a 2-0 win, but W.F. West couldn’t find a way to bring home a run on Wednesday.
“I’ve liked our approach the last couple of weeks. I don’t think it was anything to do with our approach. I think we just have not seen a good left handed pitcher like that all season long since the last time we faced him,” Bullock said. “I think that we’re going to have to make some adjustments and be ready to see some pitching on the weekend and hopefully we can score some runs on Saturday.”
W.F. West’s best chance came in the top of the fifth inning. Max Taylor reached base on an error and Brit Lusk hit a single to advance Taylor to third. Luke Bennett popped out to the shortstop and Tanner Vaughn hit a ground ball to the shortstop, turning a double play to keep the Bearcats scoreless.
In the bottom of the fifth, Madsen hit a single and moved to second on a walk. After a throwing error moved Madsen to third, Jones tried to pick off the runner at first and Madsen took off for home, sliding in safe for the only run of the game.
“I thought we played well. It’s playoff baseball facing a good team, we haven’t faced any top pitching like that in a while and we struggled to get hits off of him,” Bullock said. “You’ve got to credit him for that. They just executed a first and third play and we did what we were supposed to. We just didn’t play catch and that one play ends up being the difference in the game.”
W.F. West now has to win two games in order to earn a regional berth, but Bullock knows the Bearcats are more than capable of bouncing back and extending the season for one more week.
“We’re going to find out what type of team we are. If we don’t want our last game to be played on Saturday, then it won’t be played on Saturday,” Bullock said. “The last time we lost a baseball game, we rattled off I think 16 games in a row so it can be done.”
Rochester Bruises Beavers in Season Ending Loss
Odd Innings: Warriors Outhit Woodland but Bean Ten Woodland Batters
By Jordan Nailon
Rochester held Woodland to just four hits here at Bearcat Stadium on Wednesday but 14 free passes and a half dozen errors gave the Beavers all the slack they needed to carve out a 12-8 win in District 4 2A baseball tournament action.
The losers-bracket defeat brought the Warriors’ season to a surreal end after they took an early 2-0 lead and outhit Woodland 15-4 in the game.
That’s what 10 hit batters can do for an otherwise struggling offense.
“You know, four hits and 12 runs is an odd number, too. But when you hit ten guys, not to mention a couple of walks in there, plus we had six errors, it’s tough to give yourself a chance,” said Rochester coach Brad Quarnstrom. “I don’t know how to explain it. There’s no explanation for it. It just happened. If you would have told me that before the game I would have told you you were full of it. That’s not going to happen because we played great yesterday.”
That strong showing in the first round of the district tournament carried over initially for the Warriors when they scored two runs in the first inning. Landon Hawes got things started with a single and Tyler Soderback brought him around with a double to centerfield. Jayden Lancaster kept things going with a single before Nolan Eyles brought him home with a hit.
Things started to go sideways for the Warriors in the second inning though when Woodland scored five runs on no hits. That outburst was aided by five hit batters and a trio of Rochester errors.
Despite their defensive struggles the Warriors refused to simply lay down and take their lumps. They battled back to put up two runs in the bottom of the third inning and then scored one run in each of the fourth and fifth innings. That left the teams tied at five-all heading to the sixth inning.
Eyles relieved Keegan Goldrick of his pitching duties in the fourth inning but the hit-by-pitch bug proved to be contagious for whichever Warrior was on the mound. In that sixth frame Woodland was able to score another five runs, this time by mixing in a rare hit to supplement three hit batters, a walk and two Rochester errors.
Facing a six run deficit the Warriors again battled to put up two runs in the seventh inning before they ran out of juice.
Soderback paced Rochester’s offense with three hits on the day, including two doubles, two runs scored and a run batted in. Jared Winters added three hits, including a pair of triples, to go with a run scored and a RBI. Hawes and Goldrick each chipped a couple hits for the Warriors while Dailin Schlect and Eddie Burkhart each had a hit and a RBI.
“We have been tough competitors all season long. I can not fault them for that at all,” noted Quarnstrom. “We lose two seniors, Tyler Soderback and Keegan Goldrick, and they’ll be tough to replace. We get a lot of guys back, but like I told these other guys, there’s more young guys chomping at the bit so don’t think for a second that you have a cemented spot.”
Lumberjacks Cut Centralia’s Season Short
Double Clutch: R.A. Long Uses Timely Hits to Top Tigers
Centralia found no comfort on the home field of their arch nemesis on Wednesday as they fell 6-3 to R.A. Long at Bearcat Stadium in District 4 2A baseball tournament play.
With the defeat in the loser-out game the Tigers saw their hopes of a hitching a berth to the state tournament evaporate like so many infield puddles.
Elias Farland pitched the first five innings for R.A. Long and held Centralia to three runs while scattering seven hits. Three of those hits, all in succession, failed to leave the infield during the fifth inning when Centralia pushed two runs across.
That mini-rally brought the Tigers back to within three runs of R.A. Long but they were never able to get over the hump. Jadon Williamson tossed the final two scoreless innings to preserve the win for the Lumberjacks.
Derek Beairsto started the game on the mound for Centralia and competed well but he doled out a collection of walks that helped the Lumberjacks earn the lasting advantage. Cameron Cabrera took over the pitching responsibilities for the Tigers in the 5th inning and allowed one run over the final three innings.
After allowing two runs in the top of the first inning on three hits the Tigers bounced back with a run of their own on one hit in bottom of the first frame. However, R.A. Long ran out to a 6-1 lead by the end of the fifth inning and left Centralia scrambling.
In the bottom of the fifth Centralia cobbled together three straight infield hits by Dom Aguirre, Zack Rone and Cameron Cabrera in order to bring in a run and the Colby Steele grounded into a fielder’s choice to plate the final Tiger of the evening.
Outside of that inning, though, the breaks did not fall Centralia’s way.
“It was timely hits and their guys pounded the strike zone. That obviously played a part,” said Centralia coach Rex Ashmore. “It’s kind of been our season. If we don’t get some help with either some walks, or hit batters, or errors, we struggle to score runs.”
Ashmore added that there were defensive lapses that didn’t help his team’s cause but he was by no means dissatisfied with the way his players approached their final game.
“We gave them some things that prolonged innings and the bottom of their order we let get on too much without having to do anything,” explained Ashmore. “I don’t fault our kids. Our kids’ energy in the dugout was great and that’s something that we’ve needed at times this season.”
Ashmore also tipped his cap to his outgoing seniors along with his assistant coaches for all of their contributions to the program. In the shadow of the loss he said that his only hope is that his returning players will marinate in the disappointment awhile in order to turn it into fuel for next year.
“As I was telling the kids. We’ve got a lot of underclassmen and if you don’t end up winning state your season kind of sucks. You want them to hold onto that feeling but unfortunately they never do and you’ve got to beat it back into them the way that it felt,” said Ashmore. “I’m hoping moving forward into this summer and come next year that they do remember the energy and the heart and passion that they played with this game.”
R.A. Long will play W.F. West on Saturday at 1 p.m. at Wheeler Field in Centralia.