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Summer Baseball: I-5 Toyota Rips Through NW Reign to Open Subway Classic

I-5 Toyota’s Benito Valencia (18) throws a pitch during the John R. Roberts Memorial Subway Classic against the NW Reign Thursday evening at Wheeler field in Centralia.

BATTER UP: I-5 Toyota/Mountain Dew Collects 12 Hits in 13-5 Win

By Matt Baide


I-5 Toyota/Mountain Dew started off the John R. Roberts Memorial Subway Classic with a solid performance, collecting 12 hits en route to a 13-5 win over the Northwest Reign in a senior legion baseball tournament game at Wheeler Field on Thursday.

The home team put the game away in the sixth inning, batting through the order while collecting four hits plus the help of one error, to score seven runs and take a 13-4 lead. I-5 Toyota almost ended the game with a runner on third base who was unable to score and bring the 10-run mercy rule into play.

“Offensively, we hit the ball hard so that’s a positive sign,” I-5 Toyota assistant coach Andy Forgione said. “Actually, our swing decisions were really good. We were looking for balls elevated and when they got them elevated, they hit them hard.”

Max Taylor was 3-for-3 with two walks, three RBI and a run and Jared Winters had a hit, two walks and scored two runs for I-5 Toyota.

Max Miller was 2-for-4 with two RBI and a run and Gabe O’Neil was 2-for-4 with a double, two runs and three RBI. Brit Lusk had a hit, two runs and a walk and Jackson Hull had a double, an RBI and a run.

On the mound, Nolan Eyles earned the start and pitched the first two innings, allowing just two runs on one hit. Benito Valencia pitched the middle three innings, allowing no runs and one hit while striking out two batters. Bodey Smith threw the last two innings to close the game out for I-5 Toyota.

“I thought Benito did a great job. He hasn’t thrown in weeks,” Forgione said. “He came out and threw strikes, did a great job. Pitching overall, they threw strikes so it was good.”

Along with the 12 hits, I-5 Toyota took advantage of 10 walks and two errors. The NW Reign couldn’t quite get the offense going, despite six errors and seven walks by I-5 Toyota.

I-5 Toyota opened the scoring in the first inning. Taylor hit an RBI single and Eli Brown came up next and hit a sacrifice fly to bring home Teegan Zillyet for a 2-0 lead.

After the NW Reign tied the game with two runs in the top of the second, I-5 Toyota answered in the bottom half. Zillyet knocked in Luke Bennett with a single and Taylor hit his second RBI-single of the game for a 4-2 lead.

Taylor hit his third RBI-single of the game in the fourth and O’Neil hit a sacrifice fly in the fifth for a 6-2 advantage.

In the sixth inning, the Reign scored two runs to cut the lead to 6-4 before I-5 Toyota put up seven runs. The first four batters of the inning scored before Max Miller knocked in two runs with a bases loaded single. O’Neil stepped up next and hit a two RBI double, followed by a Jackson Hull RBI double. Hull later scored to push the lead to nine runs.

“Finding the pitch, good swing decisions is where it comes from,” Forgione said.

As the host, there is some pressure to perform but as long as I-5 Toyota plays their game, Forgione believes the wins will come.

“We’re playing at home, under the lights on a Thursday night,” Forgione said. “The weather cooperated which was great. Game one is always huge to get.”

I-5 Toyota faced Hanford on Friday and is scheduled to play the Northwest Stars on Saturday at 7 p.m. at Wheeler Field before bracket play on Sunday. Check Tuesday’s Chronicle for a full recap of the tournament.

Rural Baseball Inc. Drops Opener Against Reign

A mercenary style group of Rural Baseball Inc. players couldn’t come together in time to put up much of a fight against the Northwest Reign here at Wheeler Field on Thursday night. The result was a 9-1 loss for the RBI squad in their first game at the John Roberts Memorial Subway Classic Tournament.

The teams traded runs in the first and second innings but the Reign began to pull away in the top of the third inning. In the fourth frame Northwest went off for three runs, before adding a run in the sixth and three more in the seventh inning.

Chase Staup pitched well for RBI in relief, allowing just one run in two innings.

Zack Rone handled the catching duties for RBI and tallied three hits while he wasn’t wearing the tools of ignorance. Jacob Douglass scored the only run for RBI while Chase Sobolesky and Todd Tabor also tallied hits in the game.

RBI faced Black Hills in an afternoon game on Friday and will face Hanford at 1 p.m. on Saturday. Their game time on Sunday is TBD.

Wednesday’s Result

RBI Falls to Kelso

TOLEDO — Kelso scored at least one run in more than half of the innings to earn a 9-3 win over Rural Baseball Inc. in a summer baseball game here on Wednesday.

Todd Tabor started on the mound for RBI and was relieved by Tristen Lawrence in the sixth inning. Cole Bowers pitched in the seventh and was relieved by AJ Volk in the eighth inning.

At the plate, Mekhi Morlin had three hits and scored a run and Lukis Tamburello had three hits and a walk.

RBI scored two runs in the first inning and one run in the third inning to take a 3-1 lead. Kelso scored one run in the fourth and sixth innings to tie the game and scored a run in the seventh to take the lead before plating four more runs in the eighth inning to secure the victory.

At Centralia


NW Reign 020 002 1 — 5 4 2

I-5 Toyota 220 117 X — 13 12 6

Batteries: NW Reign — Hymer, Wiklund (6), Harris (6) and Brockelman, Trinh (6); I-5 Toyota — Nolan Eyles, Benito Valencia (3), Bodey Smith (6) and Kyle Trout

At Centralia


Northwest 101 301 3 — 9 14 3

Rural Baseball 010 000 0 — 1 5 3

Batteries: Northwest Reign — Fagnant, Wike (6) and Brockelman; Rural Baseball Inc. — Chase Sobolesky, Chase Staup (5), Mano (7) and Zack Rone

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