Weekend College Baseball: Blazers Go Gator Hunting, Limit Out
By The Chronicle
AUBURN — The Trailblazers got everything they were after this weekend as they swept Green River in a four-game series of crunch time NWAC West Conference baseball.
On Saturday Centralia hosted the Gators for a doubleheader and emerged with a pair of victories that thrilled the home crowd to the tune of 20-7 and 8-3.
“It was a great week for Blazer Baseball. Our guys had the best week of practice all year and carried that attitude over to this weekend,” said Centralia College coach Kawika Emsley-Pai. “The starting pitchers did a fantastic job setting the tone for us all weekend long, followed by a great defensive showing.
Winlock’s own Zach Weinert tossed a complete seven inning shutout in the first tilt. He scattered six hits and one walk with one earned run and four strikeouts on his watch
Weinert’s battery mate, Gavin O’Donnell, proved to be his pitcher’s biggest ally by driving in eight runs in the game. O’Donnell was 4-for-4 at the plate with a double to help their mutual cause.
Centralia put up two runs in the first inning and four in the second frame before going off for their final 14 runs in a marathon fourth inning.
Tysen Paul pounded a pair of doubles and two RBI and Colton Titus laced three hits to drive in three runs for the red hot Blazers’ offense. Robbie Wall added two hits and two RBI for the Blazers while James Hook and Blake Marker added three hits each.
In Saturday’s second affair Dylan Stakelin picked up the victory on the mound for the Trailblazers. The southpaw from Tenino held the Gators to three hits and three runs in five innings of work while rationing two walks and tallying five strikeouts along the way.
Green River was only able to get to the Blazers’ pitching in the sixth inning. Mason Harris halted that rally and struck out two batters in two innings of relief to preserve the win.
Josh Krause powered the Blazers with a pair of doubles and four RBI in the game.
Centralia scored three runs in the first inning and another run in the second inning before adding a pair of runs in both the fourth and fifth frames.
Colton Titus had two hits and drove in a run to help Centralia maintain their advantage over the Gators. James Hook added a double while Festus Gilligan, Marker, Wall and O’Donnell all had one hit for the Blazers.
On Sunday Centralia continued their gutting of the Gators in a couple of close contests. The Blazers won the first bout in Auburn 2-0 before following up with a 5-1 victory.
Josh Myer spun a complete nine-inning shutout to start the day for Centralia. The right hander allowed just five hits while issuing one walk and racking up seven strikeouts.
Centralia picked up a run in the second inning to go up early and then added an insurance run in the seventh frame. Gavin Manheimer led the way with a hit and a run batted in while Paul and Wall each tacked on a hit. Meanwhile, Titus found himself on base three times via walks.
It took three pitchers to hold off Green River in the final game but Centralia’s bats clutched up to provide a little extra cushion in the nightcap. The Blazers collected nine hits in the game with two runs in the third inning and a single run in each of the fifth, sixth, and seventh frames.
Titus had a banner effort for the Blazers with three hits, including a triple, two RBI, and a stolen base. Hook added two hits and two RBI while Ethan Hori chipped in a pair of hits. Krause and Kyle Combs each added a hit to the Centralia tally.
Taite Hensley relieved Adrian Stacy on the mound in the fourth inning to pick up the win and Rory Escuadro registered a two-inning save. Both Hensley and Escuadro struck out three Gators.
“Our guys have been grinding away at practice all year so it’s nice to see them get rewarded for their hard work,” added Emsley-Pai. “We look forward to keeping the momentum going into the big weekend coming up against a good Grays Harbor team.”
Centralia (12-29, 7-14 league) currently sits in fourth place in the NWAC West Conference. The Trailblazers will play a doubleheader at Grays Harbor on Friday beginning at 1 p.m.
BLAZERS 20, GATORS 3 (7 Inn.)
Green River 020 010 0 — 3 6 1
Centralia 240 (14)00 X — 20 19 2
Batteries: Green River —T. Qualls, C. Smith (3), J. Stevenson (4), R. Pote (5), P. Heurion (6) and J. Bishop and B. Kaman (2); Centralia — Zach Weinert and Gavin O’Donnell sand Kyle Combs (5)
BLAZERS 8, GATORS 3
Green River 000 003 0 — 3 4 0
Centralia 310 220 X — 8 7 1
Batteries: Green River — T. Dominguez, C. Smith (5) and Brendan Kaman and Jacob Bishop (3); Centralia — Dylan Stakelin, Mason Harris (6) and Gavin O’Donnell and Kyle Combs (5)
BLAZERS 2, GATORS 0
Centralia 010 000 100 — 2 3 0
Green River 000 000 000 — 0 5 2
Batteries: Centralia — Josh Myer and Gavin O’Donnell; Green River — T. Qualls, C. Swan (6), and Jacob Bishop
BLAZERS 5, GATORS 1
Centralia 002 011 1 — 5 9 1
Green River 100 000 0 — 1 1 2
Batteries: Centralia — Adrian Stacy, Taite Hensley (4), Rory Escuadro (6) and Kyle Combs; Green River — D. Miller, T. Miller (5) and Brendan Kaman and Jacob Bishop (6)