Weekend College Baseball: Red Devils Rake Blazers Over the Coals
By Jordan Nailon
LONGVIEW — Saturday was a day to forget for the Trailblazers as they dropped a NWAC West Conference game 15-0 to Lower Columbia College here at David Story Field.
“You look at the scorebook and you see a lot of free nineties. A lot of errors. That’s just baseball for you. You’ve got to make the routine plays on defense and we shot ourselves in the foot,” said Centralia College coach Kawika Emsley-Pai. “Hats off the them. They swing the bat very well and it’s a tough lineup to pitch to. At the same time, when you give them free nineties it makes it really hard for us to be successful.”
The Red Devils pitching staff held Centralia College to just three hits on the day. As a result, the second inning was the only frame when the Blazers were able to threaten for a run. That inning saw James Hook, James Billotti and Ethan Hori all draw walks to load the bases but a called strikeout brought the inning to a fruitless close.
Still, even as the shadows grew long and the score turned ugly the Blazers and their coaching staff refused to stop competing pitch to pitch.
“That’s how you should play in general and that’s our philosophy is that you should treat every pitch like it’s your last because you never know when it’s your last,” explained Emsley-Pai. “We’re going to fight for them and we’re always going to have our guys backs.”
Blake Marker, Gavin Manheimer, and Hori were they only Trailblazers to collect hits on the day. On the flip side, LCC’s squatty right hander Mitch Lines was able to use a hard fastball and a parabola curve to strikeout eight batters in five shutout innings before turning the ball over to Rance PIttman. PIttman closed the game out with four strikeouts and zero hits over two innings.
On offense Lower Columbia put runs up on the scoreboard early and often. Thirteen hits by LCC and a trio of Blazer errors helped the home team along to the mercy-rule victory. The Red Devils scored two runs in the first, three runs in the second and fourth innings, and then erupted for seven runs in the fifth inning. Catcher Colin Floyd led Lower Columbia with four hits on the day.
Josh Myer started the game on the mound for Centralia and allowed nine hits and six earned runs over 3 ⅓ innings. Zach Vetter and Taite Hensley combined to get out of the middle innings before Zach Weinert took over for the sixth inning. Weinert was the only Blazers pitcher to register a scoreless outing with two walks and zero hits allowed in one inning of work.
“We’re going to learn from it like we always do. We believe in learning from failures,” noted Emsley-Pai. “That’s the best thing about this sport, and why I love it, is there’s always another day. In this game if you’re going to hang your head on one day then you’re going to lose sight of the growth that you could see in the next.”
Raiders Ransack Blazers on Road Trip
PUYALLUP — It was another rough day at the ballpark for Centralia College here on Sunday as they fell 14-2 to Pierce College in a NWAC West Conference baseball contest.
The Blazers scored two runs in the third inning but then their offense fell silent as the Raiders ran away with a mercy-rule victory in seven innings.
Centralia mustered just four hits on the day with Colton Titus, Blake Marker, Josh Parks and Gavin Manheimer each chipping in a baseknock. Marker and Parks drove in the Blazers’ only runs on the day.
Meanwhile, Pierce put up two runs in the first inning, three in the third, five in the fourth and four in the fifth frame to put the game well out of reach.
Cam Hale was the starting pitcher for the Blazers and lasted into the third inning with four earned runs and five hits to his name. Adrian Stacey took over for Hale and was able to finish the third and fourth innings with five hits and five earned runs on his record. Connor Bensen was touched up for four earned runs in just ⅓ of an inning of work before Cole Doughty took over for the final five outs. Doughty allowed just one hit and zero runs in his appearance.
Brock Wrolstad pitched a complete game shutout with nine strikeouts for Pierce. He also hit for himself and collected a base hit while driving in two runs.
Centralia (5-17, 0-2 conference) will host Tacoma on Wednesday at 4 p.m. for a conference contest.
RED DEVILS 15, BLAZERS 0 (7 inn.)
Centralia 000 000 0 — 0 3 3
Lower Columbia 230 370 X — 15 13 1
Batteries: Centralia — Josh Myer, Zach Vetter (4), Taite Hensley (5), Zach Weinert (6) and Kyle Combs; Lower Columbia— Lines, Rittman (6) and Floyd
RAIDERS 14, BLAZERS 2 (7 inn.)
Centralia 002 000 0 — 2 4 4
Pierce 203 540 X — 14 11 0
Batteries: Centralia — Cam Hale, Adrian Stacey (3), Connor Bensen (5), Cole Doughty (5) and Gavin O’Donnell; Pierce — Wrolstad and Spacher