A snap throw down to second base by Montesano catcher Parker Plato thwarted Hoquiam’s late-game comeback attempt and allowed the Bulldogs to secure a 2-1 victory over the Grizzlies on Tuesday at Olympic Stadium.
Montesano (11-2, 5-0 Evergreen 1A) was protecting a 2-1 lead with two outs and two on in the bottom of the seventh.
Hoquiam (8-4, 4-2) used an infield single and a walk to put runners on first and second with Payton Quintanilla at the plate with the potential tying and winning runs on base.
Nearing his pitch count limit, Montesano’s Evan Bates went for the strikeout against Quntanilla and attempted to get him to chase a fastball up and out of the zone.
Plato had made a throw down to second base earlier in the at bat and made another attempt to pick off Hoquiam’s Joel Emery.
Plato’s second pick off throw down to the second caught Emery wandering too far away from the base as he was tagged out by Carter Olson to end the game.
“Hoquiam had their best batter up in that situation and the guy got a little far out there and Parker made a great throw,” Montesano head coach Mike Osgood said. “That wasn’t anything called from the dugout, the guys did that on their own and it worked out.”
Hoquiam head coach Steve Jump said he didn’t want to see his baserunners get too aggressive with their leads with Quintanilla at the plate.
“In that situation, with one of your best hitters up you want a good secondary lead but not an overly-aggressive secondary lead,” he said. “You’re assuming (Quintanilla) is going to hit one through and you’re going to score.”
Plato’s pick-off play punctuated the win that put Montesano is sole possession of first place in the league, but it was Evan Bates’ pitching that led the way for Monte.
Bates pitched a complete game and struck out 10 in Tuesday’s low-scoring affair. The senior hurler was in control for most of the evening despite a steady rain that made for muddy conditions on the infield.
Bates said he had a good feeling going into this one despite the precipitation.
“In the beginning of the game I was feeling all three of my pitches. The weather dictated what the ball was like and I couldn’t get as big of a grip, but I felt confident in my stuff,” he said.
The rain was constant and both pitchers did what they could to put a damper on opposing batters.
Hoquiam starter Zach Elsos pitched 5 1/3 innings and scattered three hits while surrendering two earned runs.
Bates nearly had a shutout until Hoquiam’s Liam Odell hit a line-drive single to right in the sixth inning to drive in Kyle Larsen for the Grizzlies’ only run of the night.
Both of Montesano’s runs came off the bat of Cyrus Parsons, who hit a double over Caden Templer’s head in left field to drive in a run in the fourth.
Parson drive in another run with a single up the middle in the sixth, allowing Payson Parker to score from second.
Bates said it was easy to relax on the mound with his teammates making plays in the field and coming up with timely hits.
“We had a good plate approach when we had guys on base. Big shout out to Cyrus Parsons for getting our two RBI,” he said. “I’m also thankful for the plays made defensively behind me. We have some good infielders and some good outfielders. I’m thankful for what I got behind me.”
Jump was hoping to see his team take advantage of having runners in scoring position on a night where the Grizzlies got 11 runners on base.
“I just think we need to see more production from the bottom of our order. We got five guys really hitting right now and we need to see a few more,” he said. “(Montersano) got it done and we didn’t get it done with guys in scoring position. We failed three or four times with guys in scoring position.”
Weather permitting, Hoquiam will get a chance to bounce back when the Grizzlies host Elma at 5 p.m. on Wednesday.
Montesano will try to further solidify its spot in the league standings with a home game against Forks at 5 p.m. on Friday.
With the Grizzlies and Bulldogs set to face each other again before the end of the regular season, Bates said it’s important for his team to stay focused and keep the same energy for the rest of the schedule.
“It’s a big win but we’re not even halfway done with league yet,” he said. “We have to keep coming out here with the same approach where we battle for every run and every out. This helps our confidence, but nothing changes, we’re still going to be aggressive.”
Ocosta 14, Ilwaco 1
A high-scoring offense and stingy pitching were the recipe for the Ocosta Wildcats in their 14-1 drubbing of the Ilwaco Fisherman in the opener of a doubleheader on Tuesday in Westport.
Ocosta (13-1 overall, 11-1 Pacific 2B) took control of the game early, scoring all 14 of its runs in the first three innings of play.
The Wildcats scored four runs in the first, highlighted by junior Dylan Mefford’s two-run double, and followed that up with three runs in the second capped by Cole Hatton’s two-run single.
Up 7-0 in the third, Ocosta put the game away with seven runs in the third inning. Eight straight Wildcats reached base in a frame in which Ocosta had five run-scoring hits.
Hatton tossed three innings of no-hit baseball to pick up the win, striking out seven in the process.
Kobe Beck threw the last two innings for Ocosta, allowing an unearned run in the fifth inning.
Mefford went 2-for-3 with a run and three RBI.
Hatton also had two hits in the game, going 2-2 with two runs and two driven in.
Ilwaco 000 01 — 1 2 3
Ocosta 437 0x — 14 10 2
WP — Hatton (3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 7 K, BB); LP — Trenton Cox (2.1 IP, 7 ER, 8 H, 2 BB)
Top Players: Ocosta — Mefford (2-3, 2B, R, 3 RBI); Hatton (2-2, 2 R, 3 RBI); Isaac O’Hagan (1-3, 2B, R, RBI); Cesar Martinez (1-3, 2 R, 3 RBI); Beck (1-3, 2 R); Colby Scheuber (1-2, 2 R); Kjirstin Hopfer (1-1, R, 2 RBI)
— Ryan Sparks, Grays Harbor News Group
Ocosta 15, Ilwaco 0
Similar to its performance in the first game, Ocosta made quick work of Ilwaco in the nightcap, scoring 15 runs in the second and third innings combined in a 15-0 victory.
After a scoreless first inning, Ocosta scored seven runs in the second — six with two outs — capped by Cesar Martinez’s two-run single to give the Wildcats a 7-0 lead.
Ocosta’s offense did further damage in the third inning, putting up eight runs highlighted by Omar Luque’s two-run double.
Wildcats starter Colby Scheuber picked up the win, throwing three scoreless innings while allowing just one hit in the ballgame.
Martinez led Ocosta at the dish, going 3-for-3 with two runs and four RBI.
Luque added two hits, including a double, and three RBI.
Though the doubleheader blowout was similar to the one the Wildcats had eight days earlier against Life Christian Academy, Ocosta head coach Mike Hatton was pleased to see his team earn their way on base.
“I was happy the way our bats came alive,” Hatton said. “All the hard work in the cages is starting to pay off.”
— Ryan Sparks, Grays Harbor News Group
Elma 7, Forks 5
The Elma Eagles overcame multi-run deficits twice to keep its undefeated record alive with a 7-5 victory over Forks on Tuesday in Elma.
After Elma starter Destry Dineen ran into some trouble after giving up two runs in the first inning the Eagles clawed back in the game with a run in each of the second and third innings to tie the game at 2-2.
But the Spartans (6-5, 1-3 Evergreen 1A) reclaimed the lead with three runs in the top of the fourth inning to take a 5-3 lead.
Elma (11-0-1, 3-0) then made it a 5-4 game with two runs in the bottom of the fourth and took the lead with three in the sixth.
Mikel settled in to keep Forks scoreless over the final three innings, leading Elma to the 7-5 victory.
Olivia Cain led Elma with three hits on the evening.
Jalyn Whipple went 2-for-3 and Kali Rambo tied the game for Elma with a solo home run in the third inning.
“I think the most impressive part of the game is Forks came out and scored some runs and we responded. We had a yearning and a want to win,” Elma assistant head coach Ashley Stancil said. “We’ve been off on that part of the game the last couple of years. This year, they know they want to win and have a fire inside them to win no matter what.”
Elma, the top-ranked team in the 2B class and the No. 3 team in the state according to maxpreps.com, faces the 2B’s No. 2 team — the Montesano Bulldogs — at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday in Montesano.
— Ryan Sparks, Grays Harbor News Group
Hoquiam 13, Tenino 3
Hoquiam got its bats to heat up early against Tenino and ended the game in five innings in a 13-3 victory in Hoquiam on Tuesday.
Hoquiam (4-3, 2-2 Evergreen 1A) got hits up and down the lineup, with Kylee Bagwell having a particularly strong day.
Bagwell smacked a homer and added a double with two RBI to her stat line against the Beavers (3-6, 0-3).
Hoquiam head coach Keith Reynvaan was pleased with the run output but is still hoping to see his team take advantage with runners in scoring position.
“We still need to hit the ball better with runners in scoring position and we left nine runners on in five innings,” he said. “We’re still not getting that big hit, so we have to work on that.”
Reynvaan also highlighted Charli Eastman for pitching two scoreless innings in relief in her first pitching performance of the year.
Eastman also had a double and drove in two runs.