Elma’s Cinderella run through the district baseball playoffs continues.
The Eagles capitalized on Tenino miscues and got an emphatic exclamation point from senior Jerred Bailey en route to a 10-3 victory in a 1A District 4 semifinal game on Tuesday, May 10, at Olympic Stadium in Hoquiam.
One day after upsetting King’s Way Christian in the quarterfinals, Elma (9-10 overall) continued its dream run through the tournament.
The Eagles took a 1-0 lead in the top of the third inning without a base hit when junior Kyren Hackney was hit by a Brody Noonan pitch to leadoff the inning and came around to score on one of six Tenino errors in the game.
Two innings later, Elma broke the game open, scoring five runs on bases-loaded walks to Grant Vessey and Kyren Hackney, RBI singles by Andrew Sanders and Jack Alexander, and a run-scoring error.
Tenino (14-8) scratched across a run in the sixth on an Elma error and a pair of runs — one on a passed ball and another on a balk — to trail 6-3 at the end of the sixth inning.
With TJ Dunlap on first after reaching on an error and the game still critically in the balance, Bailey stepped to the plate in the top of the seventh. The senior right-fielder drove Easton Snider’s 1-0 pitch over the left-field fence for a two-run home run that had Elma fans leaping from their seats and changed the complexion of the game.
The Eagles weren’t done yet.
Leading 8-3 after Bailey’s blast, Alexander walked and Hackney reached on an error, as the Tenino defense had become increasingly frazzled.
Elma infielder Blake Corr then smacked a two-run double to right, putting the Eagles up 10-3.
Eagles reliever Landon McKinney threw a scoreless seventh for Elma, getting Snider and Austin Gonia to fly out to Bailey to end the game.
Sanders started on the mound for Elma, picking up the win by allowing an unearned run on four hits over five innings pitched.
Elma’s Carter Studer allowed two unearned runs on one hit with a walk in pitching the sixth inning.
Despite collecting just five hits and striking out 10 times in the game, Elma found a way to capitalize on Tenino’s mistakes, scoring seven unearned runs on six Beavers errors and drawing seven walks in the game.
“Great team effort,” Eagles head coach Travis Vessey said. “Tenino is a good team and we never take them lightly. Sanders had a great outing with relief (pitchers) doing their jobs.”
With the win, Elma earns a spot in the 1A State Tournament regional round and will take on La Center for the district championship at 12:30 p.m. Friday at Castle Rock High School.
Elma 001 050 4 — 10 5 2
Tenino 000 001 2 — 3 5 6
Elma — Bailey (1-3, HR, R, 2RBIs), Corr (1-4, 2B, 2RBIs), Cain (1-3, R), Sanders (1-2, RBI), Alexander (1-3, R, RBI), Vessey (1-3, R, RBI), Dunlap (0-4, R, RBI), McKiney (0-1, R), Hackney (0-2, 3R, RBI). WP – Sanders (5 IP, R, 0ER, 4H, 6K, 4BB).
Tenino — Hart (2-3, R), Feltus (1-1, R), Strawn (1-2), Gonia (1-3, R). LP – Noonan (4.2 IP, 6R, 2ER, 3H, 8K, 6BB).
La Center 5, Montesano 0
Montesano’s hopes at a district title were dashed after suffering a 5-0 defeat to La Center in a 1A District 4 semifinal baseball game on Tuesday at Olympic Stadium in Hoquiam.
The Bulldogs (16-6) fell behind 3-0 at the end of the third and never really found its offense against Wildcats starting pitcher Tyler Normine, who scattered four hits and struck out six in 6 2/3 innings pitched.
La Center (15-6) tacked on insurance runs in the fourth and the sixth to complete the shutout victory and send Montesano into the elimination bracket.
Three errors in the game proved costly for Montesano, as three of the Wildcats runs were unearned.
Isaiah Pierce took the loss for Monte, allowing four runs — two earned — on four hits with three strikeouts and a pair of walks in 4 2/3 innings pitched.
Skylar Bove tossed 1 1/3 innings of relief for the Bulldogs, allowing an unearned run on two hits with one strikeout.
Bode Poler was the only Bulldogs player with a multi-hit game, going 2-for-4 with a double.
Montesano will face King’s Way Christian in an elimination game at 10 a.m. Friday at Castle Rock High School.
Montesano 000 000 0 — 0 4 3
La Center 021 101 x — 5 6 1
Montesano — Poler (2-4, 2B), Kling (1-3), K. Ames (1-2). LP – Isaiah Pierce (4.2 IP, 4R, 2ER, 4H, 3K, 2BB),
La Center — Bethje (2-3), Bastleberry (1-3, R), Taylor (1-4), Fuller (1-3), Mora (1-2). WP – Normine (6.2 IP, 4H, 0R, 6K, BB).