HOQUIAM — With both teams secure in their spots in the league standings extra bragging rights were on the line in Wednesday’s baseball matchup between Montesano and Hoquiam.
Monte took the game by a score of 6-1 to give the Bulldogs victories in all three of their meetings with the Grizzlies this season.
Evan Bates led the way for Monte, providing a solid seven innings of work while giving up one earned run. He also helped his own cause, going 2-for-4 with a double and a run scored.
Offensively, Montesano found ways to string hits together to score in every inning except the fifth and seventh frames.
Bullldogs head coach Mike Osgood said his team did well executing a ‘small ball’ approach at the plate.
“We kept getting runs here and there and once you get that lead against a good club like this you just have to keep playing for one run,” he said. “We got called out on some strike threes but offensively we’re really in a good groove right now.”
When the Grizzlies did get an offensive jolt from a base hit they, weren’t able to keep the line moving as Hoquiam stranded four runners in scoring position.
Hoquiam head coach Steve Jump said he saw good energy from freshman second basemen Alex Reyes and pitcher Garett Bradley but wasn’t too impressed with his team’s overall effort level.
“We need to hustle, we need to give 100 percent and bust our tails,” he said. “I thought Montesano had more enthusiasm and more hustle and they outplayed us because of that.”
The Bulldogs benefited from a solid day at the plate from Matthew Plato who drove in a run in the first inning and scored two runs in the contest.
Though it wasn’t Hoquiam’s best day, Osgood said playing at a high level against them is a good test to face before the start of district play.
“They’re the type of club you’re going to see in the postseason,” he said. “They’re a good, fundamentally-sound, well-coached team and if you can compete with and beat a team like that in a rivalry situation you’re playing good baseball.”
Monte will be the No. 1 seed out of the 1A Evergreen League and will face Castle Rock, who they beat 19-8 earlier in the season, in the first round of the district playoffs.
Second-seeded Hoquiam will face the No. 3 seed out of the 1A Trico league when the playoffs begin.
“(Tuesday’s) loss took the wind out of our sails,” Jump said, referencing Monte’s 5-3 victory over his team that clinched the league title for the Bulldogs. “I’m hoping that come Monday we show up ready to compete.”
Montesano 211 011 0 — 6 5 1
Hoquiam 000 001 0 — 1 4 2
WP — Bates (CG, 2 K, 2 BB); LP — Farmer ( 2 IP, 2 BB, 2 ER)
Leading Hitters: H — Dunn (RBI) M — Bates (2-4, RBI, R), Gallinger (2B, RBI)