Hoquiam took a big step towards solidifying its playoff position with a 2-0 win over Montesano on Friday in Hoquiam.
The Grizzlies (8-5-1, 7-3 Evergreen 1A) are now tied for second in the 1A Evergreen league standings with Elma and can secure sole possession of second place if Hoquiam wins its final two games and the Eagles lose to Forks on Friday, May 3 in Forks.
Hoquiam had to juggle its lineup with five starters unavailable to play and looked for some of its bench players to fill the void.
Skyler Johnson was one of those players, thrusted into a starting role and came up with the opening goal in the 25th minute to give Hoquiam a 1-0 lead.
Johnson’s opening tally came when he controlled a bouncing ball that was played into the box and got his shot off from in close and put the ball past the goal-front traffic and into the net.
Hoquiam head coach Fidel Sanchez said he was impressed with the way his bench players stepped up and was particularly pleased with Johnson’s effort.
“He has the passion and the drive to fight for the ball,” he said. “That’s what I want to see from these guys. Today we finally showed that in the second half without our starters.”
Johnson said getting that first-half goal gave his team confidence for the rest of the match.
“When our team scores a goal we start getting confident and everyone starts playing better and gets less frustrated with each other,” he said.
Hoquiam converted on one of the few scoring chances it generated in a first half that saw each team put three shots on goal.
Montesano (7-8, 7-4) continued to struggle generating chances in the second half as well while the Bulldogs looked for the equalizer.
Bulldogs head coach Rick Denholm said he was frustrated that his players didn’t take advantage of some of the space available to them along the sidelines.
“We talked about getting our outside mids wide and close to the line because (Hoquiam) was playing with three backs and we wanted to get around them and they decided not to do that,” he said. “We just stayed inside and we kept on passing to one of the three defenders instead of going around.”
Montesano’s difficulty creating scoring chances was compounded by a goal in the 76th minute from Hoquiam’s Cameron Bumstead.
Bumstead beat Monte keeper Max Urbanski one-on-one on a shot to the keeper’s left to seal the victory for Hoquiam.
Bumstead said his team did well surviving Monte’s late-game push and keeping calm when the Bulldogs looked to send players on runs toward the box.
“Our backline played as a unit and they kicked the ball up and didn’t allow (Montesano) to get into their heads.”
While Hoquiam took a big step toward securing second place in the 1A Evergreen League while the loss puts Montesano in fourth place.
Johnson said his team is in a good place but wants to see his teammates stay composed at the start of the game.
“We need to work on not yelling at each other and not getting down on each other to start the game. We also have to get better at getting off to faster starts,” he said.
Aberdeen 4, Black Hills 2
Aberdeen turned up the offensive pressure in the second half and came away with a 4-2 victory over Black Hills on Friday in the Bobcats last regular season home game of the season.
Aberdeen got a solid game out of Antonio Torres who scored the only Aberdeen goal of the first half in the 20th minute. Torres stole the ball from a Black Hills fullback and shoot from deep inside the box to take a 1-0 lead.
Black Hills tied the game up shortly after and the Bobcats responded in the 48th minute when Rigo Alavez converted on a penalty kick that put the Bobcats back in front.
Hulizes Chavez added another goal in the 61st minute and Torres added an insurance goal in the 79th minute to cap off the Bobcats’ scoring.
Aberdeen head coach Larry Fleming said he still wants to see his team take full advantage of its scoring opportunities so it can avoid playing in close games.
“Our possession and defense was solid for the most part, we just need to finish with a little more quality so we don’t keep teams in the game when we should have a comfortable lead,” he said.
Elma 3, Ilwaco
Elma used a trio of first-half goals to dispatch Ilwaco 3-0 at Davis Field in Elma on Friday.
Elma (9-5-1, 8-3 Evergreen 1A) scored on the very first play of the game where Rodrigo Luna crossed the ball to Manny Hernandez at the far post to the Eagles up 1-0 in the first minute of action.
The Eagles struck again in the sixth minute when Lenny Feldhoff scored off of a corner kick from Cannon Seaberg to push the lead to 2-0.
Elma’s offense hit a bit of a dry spell until the final minutes of the first half where Alexis Bautista scored off of a rebound from a Rene Durand shot to cap off the scoring.
Elma head coach Carson Seaberg said he wanted to see his team do a better job of finishing on scoring opportunities, but is pleased with how the unit is gelling late in the season.
“We’re young so every game, no matter who we play, it’s about us learning to play high school level soccer,” he said. “The guys are talented individually and we’re getting better and better at playing together.”
Pe Ell-Willapa Valley 12, Timberline 1
Pe Ell-Willapa Valley didn’t have any trouble with its 3A opponent on Friday as the Titans beat Timberline 12-2 in five innings in Lacey.
Kamryn Adkins led the Titans (13-2, 10-0 Pacific 2B) with a strong pitching performance. Adkins surrendered four hits while striking out four in five innings of work.
Adkins got run support early on with the Titans putting up four runs over the three innings and PWV blew the game open with six runs in the fourth.
Britney Patrick provided the power in that inning with a three-run home run to cap off the scoring in the fourth frame.
PWV head coach Ken Olson said he felt the fourth inning rally was coming based on how his team had hit the ball up to that point.
“We had runners on in every inning and the first inning we had the bases loaded, so I felt it was going to bet a matter of time before we got tuned in,” he said.
PWV 10, South Bend 0
Pe Ell-Willapa Valley pitcher combined to throw a one-hitter as the Titans shutout South Bend 10-0 in the first game of a doubleheader on Friday in South Bend.
PWV starting pitcher Hunter Hoke held South Bend (7-7, 5-7 Pacific 2B) to just one hit and no runs in his three innings of work.
Eighth grader Garrett Keeton relieved Hoke and threw two innings of no-hit baseball before Donnie Ward closed out the game with an inning of scoreless relief.
With its pitching staff doing its job, the Titans’ offense got to work in the second third inning, expanding on their 1-0 lead with eight runs in the frame.
PWV (11-5, 11-3) scored a run in the top of the sixth to put the game in 10-run, mercy-rule territory.
All 10 players that batted for PWV earned a hit in the ballgame as the Titans smacked 13 hits in the contest.
Max Smith, Frank Roonsburg and Hoke collected two hits apiece for PWV.
— Ryan Sparks, Grays Harbor News Group
South Bend 3, PWV 0
South Bend pitcher Drew Rose pitched a two-hit complete game shutout to lead the Indians to a 3-0 victory over PWV in the nightcap of Friday’s doubleheader.
Rose was dominant on Friday, allowing no runs on two hits. The senior hurler also struck out 12 to just three walks and threw 69 strikes in his 107 pitch performance.
PWV’s Hunter Hoke took the loss, allowing one run on two hits in three innings of work.
Leading 1-0 in the top of the fifth, South Bend extended its lead to 3-0 with a pair of runs off PWV reliever Max Smith, who gave up two runs on two hits in 1 1/3 innings of work.
The Indians’ Tyler Walker and Mayson Estle each had RBI singles in the low-scoring game.
PWV, which is tied with Raymond for the second spot in the 2B Pacific League, hosts Ilwaco in a regular-season finale doubleheader beginning at 3 p.m. on Tuesday.
South Bend, which is locked into the league’s No. 5 spot, closes out the season with a doubleheader against Life Christian Academy on Wednesday at Cheney Park in South Bend. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m.
— Ryan Sparks, Grays Harbor News Group
Montesano 6, Tenino 0
Montesano extended its winning streak to 10 games with a 6-0 victory over Tenino on Friday in Montesano.
Montesano staring pitcher Ben Wills shut down Tenino (6-11, 4-6 Evergreen 1A) with a complete-game performance. The junior hurler allowed just three hits while striking out six in the ballgame.
Though it didn’t have a big inning on Friday, Montesano (15-2, 9-2 overall) scored at least one run in every inning but the second, highlighted by Payson Parker’s solo home run in the fifth inning.
Bulldogs infielder Teegan Zillyett went 3-for-4 with a double and three RBI.
Montesano’s Parker Plato went 2-for-4 with two runs.
With the victory, Montesano is now 2 1/2 games ahead of Hoquiam in the 1A Evergreen League standings with three games left to play.
— Ryan Sparks, Grays Harbor News Group