Montesano was powered by Parker Plato’s big day at the plate as the catcher drove in three runs in Montesano’s 6-2 win over Hoquiam on Friday in Montesano.
All of Plato’s RBI came in the form of a three-run homer he pulled down the left-field line in the sixth inning that gave the Bulldogs (18-2 overall, 12-0 Evergreen 1A) a 6-0 lead in the sixth inning.
Plato saw four pitches prior to hitting his round tripper and said he had seen enough to get his timing down on Hoquiam pitcher Alex Reyes.
“I was deep in the count. I was timing up the pitches and ended up connecting on a good one,” he said.
Montesano head coach Mike Osgood said he has enjoyed coaching a team that has a handful of players capable of going deep.
“We have five guys with home runs for us and its been all over our lineup,” he said. “The guys just have fun hitting, they’re loose, relaxed and (the power) is nothing we’re trying to teach. We just have some good hitters right now.”
Plato’s three-run bomb ended up providing some important insurance runs when Hoquiam attempted to mount a comeback in the top of the seventh.
Camden Templer drove in Hoquiam’s first run of the day with an RBI groundout and the Grizzlies (12-7, 8-4) picked up another run in the frame when an infield error allowed Joel Emery to score.
Liam Odell represented the tying run when he came up to bat with the bases loaded, but Monte pitcher Evan Bates put an end to the rally by striking out Odell on a fastball low in the zone to end the game.
Before the game got tense in the final frame, Montesano quickly jumped out to a lead in the bottom of the first. Bates drove in the first run of the game with a double that plated Plato. Payson Parker followed with a double of his own that drove in Bates to give Montesano a 2-0 lead after one inning of play.
Hoquiam’s Zach Elsos struggled a bit on the mound, giving up three runs in two innings of work.
Despite a turbulent start, Hoquiam head coach Steve Jump said he expects Elsos to be fine once he regains confidence in his breaking ball.
“Zach Elsos is fine. He needs to understand that he’s seen Monte three times now and they are a good hitting team,” he said. “If he would have mixed in his curveball a little bit in the early part of the inning, he would have been fine. No one in this league can rely on just fastballs.”
The third matchup between the Bulldogs and Grizzlies is the final regular season game of the year before both teams head into the District IV Playoffs on Monday.
Hoquiam and Montesano will both play the first game of districts on Monday at Olympic Stadium in Hoquiam.
The Grizzlies will take on King’s Way Christian at 4 p.m. After that Montesano will take the field against Castle Rock in a game that is scheduled for 6 p.m.
Both team went to the bullpen early to keep arms fresh for the post season with Hoquiam using three arms to get through seven games and Montesano using four hurlers.
Plato served as the battery mate for all four pitchers and thinks the Bulldogs have the arms to make a postseason run.
“All of our pitchers hit the spots and were consistent,” he said. “Since we’re getting ready for districts that was huge.”
Montesano 7, Elma 3
Timely run-scoring hits from Cyrus Parsons and Aaron Plato in the sixth inning broke a tie ballgame and led Montesano to a 7-3 win over Elma on Wednesday at Vessey Field in Montesano.
With the game tied at 3-3 after Elma sophomore Noah Huttula walked to force in a run in the top half of the sixth, Monte responded.
Payson Parker led off Monte’s half of the sixth with a double to left field and came around to score on Parker’s line-drive single one out later as the Bulldogs regained the lead, 4-3.
Later in the inning, Lane singled with two out and two on, scoring Parsons and Cayleb Reninger to give Monte (17-2 overall, 11-0 Evergreen 1A) some insurance at 6-3.
After Parker Plato walked, Monte senior outfielder Teegan Zillyett singled to right. Lano came around to score on the play and extended Monte’s lead to 7-3.
Elma (4-14, 1-10) led 2-0 in the third on a Brady Shriver sacrifice fly followed by a Brody Rustemeyer double that scored Brady Johnston.
The Bulldogs scored their first run in the bottom of the third when Plato hit a sac fly to right field, scoring Braden Dohrmann to cut the Eagles’ lead in half.
Monte tied the game in the fifth, when Lano singled in Trace Ridgway to cap three straight singles for the Bulldogs to open the frame.
Jack Anderson picked up the victory, pitching an inning of relief for Ridgway, who allowed three runs on three hits in five innings pitched.
Cobey Moore took the loss for Elma, giving up seven runs on 10 hits in six innings pitched.
— Ryan Sparks
Grays Harbor News Group