Three Aberdeen High School sports teams were victorious Monday, highlighted by a thrilling comeback win from the Bobcat softball squad in prep sports action on the Twin Harbors.
Aberdeen 14, Shelton 13
If the results of their last three games are any indication, the Aberdeen Bobcats may need to add a new piece of equipment in the dugout — a defibrillator.
For the second time in three games, the Bobcats rallied in their final at-bat to earn a walk-off, one-run victory.
The latest victim of the heart-attack Cats was the Shelton Highclimbers, who fell to Aberdeen in a wild, yet riveting, game at Bishop Sports Complex in Aberdeen.
The game started out ominously enough for Aberdeen (3-1 overall, 2A Evergreen), as Shelton’s first five batters reached base and scored via three singles, a walk and three Aberdeen errors.
Aberdeen scored a run in the bottom half of the first when outfielder Aili Scott, who led off the frame with a walk, scored on a wild pitch.
Shelton (2-2) scored two two-out runs in the top of the second to take what seemed to be a commanding 7-1 lead after an inning and a half.
But in coming from behind to win three straight one-run games, the Bobcats have shown perseverance, and that character trait revealed itself again Monday.
Aberdeen responded from its early-inning struggles to take the lead with seven runs in the bottom of the second. Infielder Katlyn Smith’s two-run RBI single pulled the Bobcats to 7-4, followed later in the inning by a Shelton error that led to two Aberdeen runs and a tie game at 7-all.
The Bobcats took an 8-7 lead on catcher Anneliese Boyle’s RBI single one batter later.
After Aberdeen pitcher Kayla Mullins threw a scoreless top of the third, the Bobcats batters were back at it again in the bottom half of the inning, scoring a pair of runs on back-to-back RBI singles from Scott and Smith to take a 10-7 lead.
Shelton would scratch across a run in the fourth, and the Bobcats held a two-run lead until the top of the sixth inning. That’s when Shelton’s Kam Hyland smacked a double to right field with two on to tie the game at 10-10.
The Highclimbers weren’t done.
With a runner in scoring position and two outs, Addy Stephens gave Shelton an 11-10 lead on an infield single. Two batters later, Shelton took a 13-10 lead when two runs came across on a throwing error by Aberdeen, one of nine Aberdeen errors in the game.
Aberdeen responded with two big runs in the sixth on back-to-back RBI triples by Merryn Bruner and Brooklyn Lecomte and had the tying run on third base with no outs. But the Bobcats missed a golden opportunity to tie the game with two straight line-drive outs followed by a fly out to center.
Aberdeen trailed 13-12 entering the final frame.
Rather than hang their heads at the lost lead and missed opportunity, the Bobcats did what they do best in the seventh inning — they fought back.
Bobcats outfielder Laynie Yakovich led off with a single, followed by a Scott single where both runners advanced due to a Shelton error on the relay throw.
Smith, who had burned Shelton with two hits and three RBI on the day, was then intentionally walked to load the bases.
Up stepped Gore, who had a shot at redemption after an earlier run-scoring throwing error, and she made the most of it. Gore shot a hard ground ball up the middle that Shelton shortstop Rylee Jorgansen could not field cleanly. Jorgansen flipped to second to try to get the force on Smith, but the ball was bobbled, allowing Yakovich to score to tie the game. Scott raced around third and was safe at home without a throw to give the Bobcats a thrilling 14-13 victory.
“I could just hear everybody behind me cheering me on, and I was just excited to know it was my chance to bring in (those runs) for the win. I was smiling and was happy to be the one to be doing it,” Gore said of her game-winning infield hit. “After I hit it my heart was just racing and (I thought) ‘Please don’t get me out.’ It was fun. It was an exciting moment.”
Bobcats first baseman Emma Siano went 3-for-4 with two doubles, two runs scored and two RBI to lead Aberdeen.
Aberdeen head coach Jimmy McDaniel said the keys for Aberdeen’s comeback success is a willingness to compete for all seven innings and the Bobcats are made up of “battlers.”
“This is three games in a row we’ve been down and we’ve battled back every single time. They come through,” he said before jesting the late game rallies are nerve-racking. “They persevere and they push the limits, even with me. I don’t even know how to explain it. I might have a stroke in the dugout.”
Aberdeen 12, Shelton 5
After dropping the first two games of the season and without the services of four upperclassmen due to COVID quarantines, the Aberdeen Bobcats have responded in fine fashion, earning their second straight victory with a win over host Shelton.
The middle of Aberdeen’s order did most of the damage Monday. Led by starting pitcher Hunter Eisele (3-4, 2B, 2R, 4RBI) and Eli Brown (2-3, 3R-HR, 2B, 3RBI), the No. 2 through No. 5 hitters in Aberdeen’s lineup combined to go 8-for-16 with eight runs batted in and five runs scored.
Leading 3-2 heading into the top of the fourth, Aberdeen (2-2 overall, 2A Evergreen) scored four runs on a three-run homer by Brown and an RBI double from Luca Pisani.
Five of Aberdeen’s 11 base hits on Monday were for extra bases, which provided more than enough for Eisele (5IP, 2ER, 3H, 4K, 6BB) to pick up the victory.
Maliki Balesteri (2IP, 3R, 0ER, 4H, 3K) pitched the final two innings for the Bobcats and Mason Sorensen (2-4, 2B, RBI) had a two-run double in the three-run Aberdeen seventh.
Aberdeen 3, Centralia 1
The Aberdeen boys soccer team picked up its first win of the season with a victory over host Centralia.
Aberdeen (1-2) got on the board in the fifth minute when Miguel Martinez took a pass from Carlos Campos, beat a defender and hit a shot from 15 yards out for the early 1-0 lead.
Ten minutes later, Aberdeen doubled the lead when Edwin Quintana sent a ball toward Kaleb Myers, who gathered it and put an opposite-foot shot into the back of the Centralia net from 20 yards out for a 2-0 advantage.
After halftime, Aberdeen got the all-important three-goal lead when Martinez sent a ball to Myers’ head, who then flicked it to Antonio Torres. Torres finished off the play with a goal from 16 yards out.
Centralia scored a goal in the final 10 minutes to make it a 3-1 final.
Aberdeen dominated possession and offensive opportunities, out-shooting the Tigers 25-9.
“Our possession and defense were 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,” Aberdeen head coach Larry Fleming said, noting Alan Avalos, Javier Garcia and Campos played strong defensive games for the Bobcats.
Aberdeen’s junior varsity team won 8-1 on Monday. Luke Niemi scored a hat trick with Estevan Isidro and Hugo Sanchez scoring two goals each for the Bobcats JV. Juan Serrano also scored a goal for Aberdeen JV.