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Legion Baseball: I-5 Toyota Splits With Cardinals

By The Chronicle
I-5 Toyota/Mountain Dew had a good look at a sweep on Wednesday, but the clutch heroics from Game 1 didn’t carry over into the nightcap of a senior American Legion baseball doubleheader.
The Centralia squad beat Vancouver, 3-2 in eight innings, on a walkoff from Nolan Wasson in the opener, but a clean bounce on a wild pitch left the hosts with a 7-6 loss in Game 2. The split at Ed Wheeler Field, combined with an 8-6 loss on Tuesday night in Vancouver, meant the Cardinals edged out Centralia for the Area 2 Southwest league title.
Still, Wednesday’s twinbill had plenty of action.
Game 1 went into extra inning with the score tied at 2-2. Nole Wollan reached on an error with one out in the bottom of the eighth, moved ahead on a single from Dakota Hawkins, and scored the game-ending run on Wasson’s double.
Hawkins finished with two hits, and Drew Forgione added two hits and an RBI for Centralia. Brandon White got the win on the mound, pitching all eight innings with nine strikeouts and one walk.
“He threw great,” I-5 Toyota assistant coach Jake LeDuc said, noting that neither of Vancouver’s runs were earned.
In Game 2, though, luck was on Vancouver’s side. Adrian Boites’ two-run double brought the score to 7-6 in the bottom of the seventh inning, but with two outs and runners on first and second a wild pitch bounced off the backstop and directly back to the Cardinals’ catcher, who threw out the runner at third to end the game.
Wollan hit a two-run single, and Forgione had three hits and an RBI in the nightcap.
I-5 Toyota out-hit Vancouver, 11-10, in Tuesday’s loss, but Vancouver got a grand slam from Kevin Miser in a five-run third inning and never trailed again.
Tyson Guerrero had three hits and two RBIs, with three stolen bases, and Wollan had two hits and drove in two runs. Forgione added two hits.
Jacob Cleary pitched the final three innings, limiting the Cardinals to one hit.
“He was nearly perfect in relief, and gave us some solid innings there and a chance to come back,” LeDuc said.
Centralia had the bases loaded with one out in the ninth inning and the tying run at second base, but a double-play ended the game.
“It was a hard-fought game on both sides,” LeDuc said. “We just probably made a few more mistakes than they made.”
I-5 Toyota (16-12, 10-4 league) will play in the eight-team Red Devil Classic — organized by Lower Columbia College baseball coach Eddie Smith but played at Centralia’s Ed Wheeler Field — on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, opening pool play with an 8 p.m. game Thursday night against the Renegades from Port Orchard and playing again at 7 p.m. Friday night.
Note: I-5 Toyota will advance to the AAA American Legion State Tournament on Saturday, July 22, in Spokane.

Tuesday’s Games
At Vancouver
I-5 Toyota 130 100 001 — 6 11 1
Vancouver 105 110 00X — 8 10 1
Batteries: I-5 Toyota/Mountain Dew — Tyson Guerrero, Jacob Cleary (6) and Tysen Paul; Vancouver — Nickel, Bringhurst (6) and Hickey

Wednesday’s Games
At Centralia
Game 1
I-5 TOYOTA 3, CARDINALS 2 (8 inn.)
Vancouver 000 002 00 — 2 6 4
I-5 Toyota 200 000 01 — 3 6 1
Batteries: Vancouver — Barnum and Rose; I-5 Toyota/Mountain Dew — Brandon White and Tysen Paul

Game 2
Vancouver 111 201 1 — 7 6 2
I-5 Toyota 003 100 2 — 6 8 3
Batteries: Vancouver — Mowrer, Rose (6) and Hickey; I-5 Toyota — Dakota Hawkins, Adrian Boites (7) and Boites, Tysen Paul (7)

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