Peninsula Daily News
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The North Olympic Peninsula team opened regionals with a 10-0 shellacking of Wyoming state champion Gillette Energy in six innings Monday at Vern Kindsfather Field.
Wilder was a late addition to the tournament, accepting an invite last week after the Montana representative dropped out.
“We expected to come down here and play well,” Wilder coach Mike Politika said after his team's victory.
Wilder starter Tanner Rhodefer had an excellent outing on the mound, taking a no-hitter into the sixth inning and allowing only three Gillette base runners in six innings.
Rhodefer, who will be a senior at Sequim next season, struck out nine and walked only one batter.
Gillette's only hit came with one out in the sixth inning.
It also had a batter reach on Wilder's lone error.
“Tanner just shut them down,” Politika said.
Gillette's pitchers didn't fare nearly as well as Rhodefer. They combined to allowed just five hits but offered up seven walks.
They also received minimal help from their defense, which committed six errors in the game.
Dusty Bates (Sequim) had two of Wilder's hits and drove in a run.
Brady Konopaski (Port Angeles) singled and drove in a run, Tanner Gochnour (Port Angeles) and Ricky Crawford (Port Angeles) each singled, and Brett Wright (Sequim) drove in a run.
Wilder battles Granite Construction from the Camas-Washougal area, the Southern Washington state champion, today at 3 p.m.
Wilder (22-6) will face each of the four teams in the National Division in pool play, with the top two teams advancing to Saturday's semifinals.
The regional champion moves on to next month's Senior Babe Ruth World Series in Ephrata.
Although Wilder didn't qualify for regionals, an unlikely run by the area team through the tournament is not unprecedented.
At the 2012 tournament in Kent, Wilder dropped its first game before plowing through the rest of its schedule to win the regional title and claim the organization's second world series berth (the other coming in 1987 when the team was called the Aggies).
Wilder 10, Gillette Energy (Wyo.) 0
Wilder 0 4 4 0 0 2 — 10 5 1
Gillette Energy 0 0 0 0 0 0 — 0 1 6
Wilder: Rhodefer 6 IP, H, BB, 9 K.
Wilder: Bates 2-3, RBI; Konopaski 1-3, RBI; Gochnour 1-3; Crawford 1-3; Wright 0-2, RBI.