Monte takes full advantage of chances to blank Elma, 10-0

ELMA — Montesano’s ability to take advantage of the chances it receives and creates was in full display in the rain and the mud against East County rival Elma on Tuesday afternoon.

A five-run second inning, highlighted by three Eagle errors, allowed the Bulldogs to take the lead and keep their Evergreen 1A League record clean and spotless in a 10-0, five-inning mercy rule baseball win at Eagle Field.

Nate Kloempken and Nick Chapman shared a two-hitter on the mound, with Kloempken getting the start and the win for Montesano (7-0, 7-3). Cody Williams was the tough-luck loser for Elma (2-6, 3-8), giving up just two earned runs in four-plus innings of work.

“It was just another day at the ball field where Kloempken is Kloempken,” Montesano head coach Mike Osgood said. “I thought Cody threw well, but there were some troubles behind him today. (Elma) could have gotten out of those first few innings, but they made some mistakes. We took advantage of them. If we keep playing like we’ve been playing, we’ll be fine heading into the postseason.”

“We gave them too many chances,” Elma head coach Todd Baun said. “Cody pitched well, but if you can’t pick up a ground ball and throw someone out, you are in trouble. (Kloempken) threw well, but you have to take advantage of the chances you get.”

Elma could have easily avoided the big inning against Montesano. With two outs in the top of the second inning, Williams and the Eagles looked as if a lead-off hit batter would be stranded. Seven batters later, the Bulldogs posted five runs.

Kyle Trout’s double to left-center field put runners at second and third before a fielding error allowed them to score the game’s first runs. A single and another fielding error plated one, then a third fielding error scored one more before Noah Quinn’s RBI single ended the scoring in the inning.

A fielding error in the third eventually came around for a 6-0 lead, then Matt Plato continued his hot hitting with a two-out, two-run home run over the left-center field fence in the fourth. Plato is hitting over .600 in league play this season, according to Osgood.

Chapman’s RBI single and Austin Peterson’s RBI sacrifice fly in the fifth gave Montesano the 10-run lead it needed.

Kloempken struggled a bit with his control, giving up three walks and scattering two hits in his four innings. However, he struck out eight and gave way to Chapman in the fifth.

Elma put two runners on base in the third and fourth innings, but stranded them in what turned into its best chances to score in the game.

On Thursday, both teams will go after each other again, this time at Montesano’s Vessey Field at 4 p.m.

Montesano 051 55 — 10 7 1 Elma 000 00 — 0 2 5

Kloempken, Chapman (5) and Rhoden; Williams, Coonse (5) and Jacobson.

RBI: Montesano — Peterson, Quinn, Plato, Reninger, Chapman, Klinger. Two hits: Montesano — Chapman. Home run: Montesano — Plato. Double: Montesano — Trout.

Winning pitcher — Kloempken (eight strikeouts, three walks). Losing pitcher — Williams (one strikeout, two walks).