Thursday’s 2A Baseball: Bearcat Bats Wake Up in Fourth to Drop Aberdeen
By Aaron VanTuyl
The trend with the Bearcats, so far in this young baseball season, seems to be that the bats take a few innings to get working.
As Thursday’s win over Aberdeen showed, however, there’s no shortage of power in the lineup.
Leandre Gaines hit the wall with both of his doubles, and W.F. West scored eight runs in the fourth and fifth innings to beat Aberdeen, 10-0, in a mercy-rule shortened Evergreen 2A Conference game in Chehalis.
“I think we’ve still got a lot of gas left in our tank. I know we’ve got some guys that, as the weather improves and as we see more live pitching, can swing it better,” Bearcat coach Bryan Bullock said. “But, early on, we need to do a better job of putting pressure on teams.”
Against Aberdeen on Thursday it wasn’t a major issue. Leadoff hitter Kylan Touch had all three of the Bobcats’ hits, including a pair of doubles, but the Bobcats managed just two additional baserunners of W.F. West starter Daniel Fagerness.
Fagerness went all five innings, striking out seven and issuing one walk while throwing just 61 pitches.
“When he’s on, he gets people to swing at pitches that maybe they don’t want to swing at, because he’s all around the plate,” Bullock said. “Today was exactly what we expect. He was throwing all his pitches for strikes and mixing up his speeds.”
Gaines laced a double that bounced once before taking a sharp ricochet off the left-field wall in the second inning, then took third and home on wild pitches to stake the Bearcats a 2-0 lead.
“He’s had some good opportunities the last two days, and he’s delivered,” Bullock said of Gaines, a big sophomore third baseman who doubled and drove in a run during a win at Aberdeen on Wednesday. “He stepped up for us yesterday and today.”
The bats really hit their stride in the fourth frame.
A pair of one-out walks set the table for Lane Douglass, who knocked in two runs with a single. Nole Wollan followed up with a single, and Dakota Hawkins then brought in another run with a base hit. Brock Jones laced an RBI double, and Gaines struck again, this time with a deep double off the left-center field wall to score Jones. Three batters later Tyson Guerrero drew a bases-loaded walk to score Gaines and put the Bearcats up 9-0 before the Bobcats got a strikeout to end the long inning.
Gaines, naturally, did the honors in the bottom of the fifth inning, hitting a sacrifice fly to center field to score Wollan from third base and end the game at 10-0.
Douglass went 2 for 4 and drove in two runs and Jones was 2 for 3 with an RBI for W.F. West. The Bearcats (4-2, 2-0 league) play at Tumwater on Friday.
Centralia Edges Black Hills
TUMWATER — Centralia’s Colby Steele hit a two-run double in the eighth inning and the Tigers held off Black Hills in the bottom of the extra frame for a 3-2 win in an Evergreen 2A Conference baseball game here Thursday.
Steele was 2 for 4 at the plate and knocked in all three runs for the Tigers, who had beaten the Wolves 15-5 in six innings on Wednesday.
Black Hills’ Zach Loveless hit an RBI single with two outs in the bottom of the eighth to trim the Tigers’ lead to a run, but Tiger second baseman Kolby Sharp made a clean play on a ball hit up the middle by the Wolves’ next batter to end the game.
Jeremy Wood pitched the first seven innings, allowing four hits and a run without a walk and four strikeouts. Jackson Hull came on in the eighth and closed the game out for the Tigers.
“Jackson’s been finding ways to get it done at the end of games. So we just ran him out there, and we know what we’re gonna get out of him,” Centralia coach Rex Ashmore said. “It was a much cleaner baseball game (than Wednesday), that’s for sure. It was definitely nice to come out of there with a win.”
Centralia (5-1, 2-0 league) hosts Aberdeen on Friday.
BEARCATS 10, BOBCATS 0 (5 inn.)
Aberdeen 000 00 — 0 3 1
W.F. West 020 71 — 10 9 1
Batteries: Aberdeen — Eli Brown, Kylan Touch (2), Gio Pisani (4), Tye Williamson (5) and Josh Germeaux; W.F. West — Daniel Fagerness and Lane Douglass
TIGERS 3, WOLVES 2 (8 inn.)
Centralia 000 100 02 — 3 4 0
Black Hills 000 001 01 — 2 7 2
Batteries: Centralia — Jeremy Wood, Jackson Hull (8) and Colby Steele, Jerod Frias (8); Black Hills — Ethan Loveless, Perry (8) and Zach Loveless