For six innings on Friday, the Montesano Bulldogs and Elma Eagles engaged in a well-pitched, low-scoring ballgame that saw four runs combined.
Then the game turned on its ear.
Twenty runs were scored over the final two innings as Montesano (9-1 overall, 8-1 1A Evergreen) emerged with a wild 13-11 extra-inning victory at Eagle Field in Elma.
Elma ace Brody Rustemeyer and Montesano freshman pitcher Tyler Johansen dazzled, holding opposing offenses in check in the early going. Johansen allowed two runs (none earned), on three hits over 4 1-3 innings pitched. Rustemeyer, meanwhile, held Montesano to one run through 5 2-3 innings until Monte’s Jack Anderson singled drove home Isaiah Pierce, tying the game at 2-2 with two outs in the top of the sixth.
Then things went haywire in a crazy seventh inning.
Monte’s Malaki Osbekoff led off with a single against Rustemeyer and, after striking out Jackson Busz, Rustemeyer walked Josh Wills. That was it for Rustemeyer, who was relieved by Andrew Sanders.
Sanders walked Monte’s Kody Lalonde to load the bases, bringing Isaac Pierce to the plate with the sacks full and one out. Pierce singled on a line drive to left field. Osbekoff scored easily and was followed by Willis, who was safe as the relay throw home skipped past Elma catcher Caleb Knutson, who had trouble locating the ball, allowing Lalonde to come all the way around from first base to put Monte in front 5-2.
Isaiah Pierce drove in Monte’s fourth run of the inning one batter later, plating pinch runner Lucas Salstrom on a sacrifice fly.
Down 6-2 in their final at-bat, the Eagles (4-4, 3-4) got some late-game heroics of their own.
Sanders reached on an error to lead off the inning followed by a single from Gibson Cain and a JT Tiffany walk to load the bases.
Brady Johnston then singled off Monte reliever Jackson Busz, scoring Sanders and Cain and — in a near identical play to Monte’s three-run single in the previous half-inning — Tiffany came around from first to score when the Bulldogs relay throw home skipped to the backstop.
Two batters later, Justin Elliott beat a throw to first on a sharp ground ball to short, scoring Johnston with the tying run at 6-6.
But the dramatics were far from over.
With Anderson on with a walk and two outs in the Monte eighth, an Osbekoff single followed by a Busz walk put Bulldogs on every base. Wills was then hit by an Anderson pitch to score the go-ahead run.
Monte wasn’t done.
Lalonde stepped to the plate and shot a double to the left-field fence, scoring three runs to put Monte up 10-7.
The bleeding continued for Elma as two batters later an RBI single by Isaiah Pierce made it an 11-6 game.
An throwing error on Rustemeyer at shortstop led to two more Monte runs as seven Bulldogs crossed the plate in the frame — all with two outs — to give Monte a commanding 13-6 lead.
But in a game where no lead was safe, Elma would make it an interesting bottom half of the inning.
A Sanders single and two Monte errors loaded the bases for Johnston, who drove in his fourth and fifth runs of the game on a line-drive single.
Rustemeyer followed with a triple to right, scoring two more runs to cut Monte’s lead to 13-10.
With Elliot at the plate, Rustemeyer scored on a wild pitch from Monte reliever Isaiah Pierce, who then plunked Elliot to bring the tying run to the plate.
But Pierce settled in to induce a fielder’s choice ground out by Blake Corr followed by a ground out by Knutson to end what turned out to be a wild and unpredictable yet thrilling game.
“It felt like whoever had that last at-bat was going to walk away with this game today,” Montesano head coach Mike Osgood said. “Our guys just hung in there. It wasn’t the prettiest day defensively. … The thing about our guys is they expect to win ballgames and they keep fighting till the end.”
Isaiah Pierce led the way for Monte, going 3-for-5 with two doubles, three runs and two RBI. Lalonde (2-3, 2B, 2R, 3RBI), Osbekoff (2-3, 2R) and Anderson (2-3, RBI) also had multi-hit games for Monte.
Johnston led Elma at the plate, going 2-for-5 with a double, two runs scored and five RBI.
Cain (3-3, 2R), Sanders (2-2, 2R), Rustemeyer (2-5, 3B, 2R, 2RBI) and Elliott (2-2, RBI) also had multiple hits for the Eagles.
“We have great senior leadership and they are working hard,” Elma head coach Travis Vessey said of his team’s ability to keep bouncing back in the face of gut-wrenching setbacks. “They’re stepping it up. (Monte) is a good, well-coached baseball team. We definitely feel like we’ve given three away to them.”
Centralia 11, Aberdeen 0
A big second inning knocked Aberdeen out of the game early as the Bobcats lost 11-0 to Centralia in five innings on Friday in Aberdeen.
Leading 2-0 in the top of the second inning, Centralia (5-3, 4-3 2A Evergreen) scored seven runs in the frame on five hits, two hit batters and a walk to take a commanding 9-0 lead.
Aberdeen (3-6, 2-6) struggled against Tigers starting pitcher Cameron Erickson, who allowed singles to Eli Brown and Hunter Eisele with one strikeout in four shutout innings of work.
Brown took the loss for Aberdeen, allowing seven earned runs on six hits with two strikeouts and a walk in two innings pitched.
Tobie Heggie allowed two earned runs in three innings of relief for the Bobcats.
Ilwaco 13, Ocosta 9
Ocosta and Ilwaco combined for 16 errors and 16 unearned runs as the Wildcats fell to the Fishermen 13-9 on Friday in Long Beach.
Down 5-1 in the third inning, Ocosta (6-4, 4-1 2B Pacific) got back in the game scoring three runs capped by a Frederick Bishop RBI single.
But Ocosta would get no closer as Ilwaco (4-7, 2-5)) scratched across a run in the bottom of the frame and score two runs in both the fourth and fifth innings to take a 10-4 lead.
The Wildcats would score three in the sixth — highlighted by a Harley Figueroa two-run single — and a pair of runs in the seventh before losing 13-9.
Ilwaco had 10 errors in the game, leading to eight unearned runs for the Wildcats while six errors by the Ocosta defense led to eight unearned runs for the Fishermen.
Figueroa had two of Ocosta’s six hits in the game, going 2-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBI.
Jackson Reid took the loss for Ocosta, allowing five runs (three earned) on four hits with two walks and a strikeout in two innings pitched.
Pe Ell-Willapa Valley 3, Forks 2
PWV starting pitcher Garrett Keeton led the Titans to a 3-2 victory over Forks in the first game of a doubleheader on Friday in Menlo.
Keeton allowed two runs (none earned) on four hits and three walks while striking out 11 Spartans in 6 2-3 innings pitched.
He gave way to PWV reliever Gavin Hampton, who struck out the last batter of the game with the bases loaded to hand the Spartans their first loss of the season.
PWV (6-3, 4-3 2B Pacific), broke a scoreless tie in the bottom of the fourth inning when Hampton drove home two runs with a double to right field.
A Hampton RBI single in the bottom of the sixth inning scored Kaden Ritzman with what turned out to be a much-needed insurance run as Forks (8-1, 7-1) rallied to score runs on an error and a bases-loaded walk in the seventh.
Forks 15, Pe Ell-Willapa Valley 1
Forks hammered 11 hits and put up crooked numbers in all but one inning to win the night cap over PWV 15-1.
The Spartans scored four in the first, two in the second, three in the third, one in the fourth and five in the fifth on 11 hits.
Forks was helped by 10 PWV errors, leading to 12 unearned runs.
Aiden Young took the loss for PWV, allowing six runs (one earned) on four hits and a walk in two innings pitched.
PWV’s only run in the game came in the bottom of the fifth when Derek Fluke, who was aboard with a leadoff single — the Titans’ only hit in the game — came around to score on a Kaden Ritzman sacrifice fly.
Hoquiam 13, Tenino 3