Both the Montesano Bulldogs and Hoquiam Grizzlies won their Class 1A District IV semifinal games Tuesday. The league rivals will face each other in Saturday’s championship game.
Class 1A District IV Semifinal
Montesano 8, La Center 0
Much like its win over Castle Rock a day before, Montesano used a big inning to overwhelm its opponent and defeat La Center on Tuesday at Olympic Stadium in Hoquiam.
The Bulldogs (20-2 overall) clinched a spot in the regional tournament with its victory in the Class 1A District IV tournament.
Montesano will play Hoquiam at 4 p.m. Saturday at Hoquiam High School for the district championship.
Monte exploded for five runs in the fourth inning to take a commanding 7-0 lead. The rally included triples from Carter Olson and Teegan Zillyett as the Bulldogs batted around and blew the game open.
Zillyett said he wasn’t surprised that Monday’s hot hitting in the Bulldogs’ 15-2 win over Castle Rock showed up again in Tuesday’s game against La Center (9-9).
“I thought we’d make some loud contact. We seemed to do really well yesterday so we thought it would carry over to today,” he said.
Bulldogs starter Evan Bates didn’t have any trouble protecting the large lead and didn’t allow a runner to reach scoring position until the seventh inning.
Bates picked up seven strikeouts in his complete game shutout of the Wildcats and benefited from two double plays that snuffed out potential rallies.
Montesano head coach Mike Osgood said he was impressed with how Bates performed against a La Center team that has talented hitters in the lineup.
“I thought (La Center) would get some runs, but Evan (Bates) did awesome out there,” he said. “He kept getting ahead in the count and kept the pitch count down. He was really effective for us and I thought we played well behind him defensively.”
La Center didn’t have the same success fielding the ball and committed four errors in the contest.
The Bulldogs benefited from a couple of infield errors to score its first two runs of the contest as well. Payson Parker scored in the first when La Center’s Riley Fender mishandled a ball at second base. Monte added a run in the second when a ball went through Irving Alvarez’s legs, which sent Parker Plato home.
Osgood said the Wildcats were at a bit of a disadvantage after playing a nine-inning game against Tenino on Monday and had two of its better pitchers reaching pitch-count limits.
“They had two guys who were ineligible to pitch today and we basically had our whole staff,” he said. “La Center was probably tired from its long game and the trip up here, but that’s playoff baseball. You have to be able to compete wherever, whenever.”
Montesano defeated Hoquiam in all three of its regular season meetings, outscoring the Bulldogs 12-6 in the process. But with two of the Bulldogs’ wins being one-run games, Monte’s Olson is expecting another close contest Saturday.
“We’ve beaten them three times, but they are a good team and we’re hoping to take that fourth one and get a district championship,” he said.
Class 1A District IV Semifinal
Hoquiam 13, Columbia-White Salmon 1
Liam Odell’s power and Payton Quintanilla’s pitching prowess powered the Grizzlies to a dominant win over Columbia-White Salmon in a 1A District IV Tournament semifinal game at Castle Rock High School.
Hoquiam (14-7 overall) got six solid innings out of Quintanilla who fanned 12 batters and only surrendered two hits.
Odell blasted a three-run homer in the sixth inning to provide some insurance runs.
Hoquiam got the scoring started early with five runs in the second inning. Quintanilla’s two-RBI double in the second inning highlighted the five-run rally that put Grizzlies up 5-1 at the time.
Columbia-White Salmon (16-5) had some defensive troubles later in the game and committed errors against three straight batters that fueled another three-run rally in the seventh.
2B District IV Tournament
Adna 2, Ocosta 0
In what turned out to be a pitcher’s duel between two of the state’s top teams in the 2B section, the Adna Pirates got the better of Ocosta, caging the Wildcats 2-0 on Tuesday in a 2B District IV semifinal game at Mossyrock High School.
Ocosta’s Cole Hatton, who was recently named the 2B Pacific League MVP for the second consecutive season, was spectacular on the bump, allowing an earned run and three hits while striking out eight.
The junior right-hander allowed a one-out double by Levi Gates in the bottom of the second inning. Gates was then chased home on a single by Abel Ingle later in the inning.
Adna (17-3) scored an unearned run off Hatton in the bottom of the sixth inning when Cole Fay, who was aboard after getting hit by a pitch, scored on a wild pitch and error to give Adna a 2-0 lead.
But Hatton’s counterpart, Adna starter Sawyer Burdick, matched him pitch-for-pitch. Burdick shut down Ocosta’s offense, allowing a leadoff single to Hatton in the fourth inning for Ocosta’s only hit of the game.
Burdick struck out three and didn’t walk a batter in an 82 pitch, complete-game performance.
“He’s not overpowering, but he’s sneaky and tough to barrel up balls on the bat,” Hatton said of Burdick’s craftiness on the bump. “We hit a lot of balls off the handle and off the end of the bat. … It just wasn’t our night.”
Ocosta’s loss was the second consecutive district semifinal defeat at the hands of the Pirates, who beat the Wildcats 7-3 last season.
Adna moves on to Saturday’s championship game while Ocosta will face the PWV-Wahkiakum winner in the consolation bracket. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m. on Saturday at Adna High School.
— Ryan Sparks, Grays Harbor News Group