The 2019 Wilder Senior baseball team reached the final eight at the American Legion AAA State Baseball Tournament. Team members are, front row from left, Timmy Adams, Bo Bradow, Hayden Woods, Gavin Guerrero, Lucas Jarnagin, Wyatt Hall and back row, Brody Merritt, Joel Wood, Jadon Seibel, Ethan Flodstrom Tyler Bowen, Milo Whitman and Seth Scofield.

The 2019 Wilder Senior baseball team reached the final eight at the American Legion AAA State Baseball Tournament. Team members are, front row from left, Timmy Adams, Bo Bradow, Hayden Woods, Gavin Guerrero, Lucas Jarnagin, Wyatt Hall and back row, Brody Merritt, Joel Wood, Jadon Seibel, Ethan Flodstrom Tyler Bowen, Milo Whitman and Seth Scofield.

AMERICAN LEGION: Intense pitching duel ends Wilder season at state quarterfinals

By Michael Carman

Peninsula Daily News

BELLINGHAM — Wilder Senior was ousted in the quarterfinals of the American Legion AAA State Baseball Tournament on Tuesday night, but the area team didn’t go willingly in a 1-0 11th inning loss to the Vancouver Cardinals.

Wilder was the hard-luck loser of a classic defensive matchup with the Cardinals in a game that saw heroic pitching performances and skilled defensive plays from both sides.

“You have no idea, man,” Wilder coach Karl Myers said.

“That was probably one of the most incredible games I have ever been part of regardless of outcome,” he said.

As for the final outcome, Vancouver’s Ryan Pitts reached base on an infield single with one out in the bottom of the eleventh and moved to third when relief pitcher Ethan Flodstrom’s pickoff attempt went wide of first base.

Pitts then came home on a fielder’s choice, just beating shortstop Gavin Guerrero’s throw to home plate.

“They hit a ground ball up the middle and Ethan kick saved it like a hockey goalie,” Myers said. “Gavin got it and the kid just beat the throw barely.

“That was a war of attrition. They got the ball play they needed. They handled it really well, their coach was almost apologetic about winning because both teams really played so well they both deserved it.”

Wilder was lifted by Bo Bradow’s nine-inning, two-hit performance on the mound.

“Nine innings on 99 pitches,” Myers marveled. “We went and watched them play Monday night and we had a couple of options in how we go about it [which pitcher Wilder would use]. “Vancouver was ultra-aggressive at the plate. It was almost like they were picking spots and swinging at any pitch.”

Wilder went with Bradow’s resourcefulness as a pitcher.

“Bo is just crafty,” Myers said. “He can land a breaking ball in any count. They were geared toward hitting fastballs pretty aggressively, so Bo threw a breaking ball on the first pitch. I love doing that because it shows you are not scared and will throw that whenever you need it.”

Myers said Bradow did have a few innings where he got into some trouble, but the defense picked him up.

Wilder turned three double plays in the game.

At the plate, Wilder tallied five hits.

“We had chances for sure,” Myers said. “We had the go-ahead run at third base a couple of times. Both teams were aggressive, we just couldn’t find a hole. They defended really well and their third baseman [Pitts] made some plays that not a lot of kids are able to pull off.”

Vancouver starter Alex Miller allowed five hits and a walk in 10 innings and was described by Myers as “nasty.”

And Vancouver brought in Joshua Mansour to pitch the 11th.

“They brought in a kid who is a horse,” Myers said. “Good fastball and a really tough breaking ball.”

Wilder finished the summer with a 21-11 record.

“We saw a lot of really good pitching this summer,” Myers said. “Some teams like to play 80 games in a summer and I don’t see the point of that. Thirty to 40 games is what we want. And we practice things, we work hard to get better during the week.”

Myers said he was impressed with how the team, made up almost solely of Port Angeles High School varsity players, committed to the summer schedule.

“It’s hard to take a team coming off a district title to re-focus and go play,” Myers said.

And with Myers leaving for a new teaching position, it was the last time he would coach players he had coached since they were high school freshmen.

“The theme for the summer was ‘One Last Ride,’” Myers said.

“These are long days and everybody reaches a point in the summer where you are exhausted and looking forward to some time off. But these kids never quit. I tell people PA kids are just different, and it’s true. They are tough. It was so much fun to see them stick together and put one last ride together.”

Vancouver Cardinals 1, Wilder Senior 0, 11 innings

Wilder 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 — 0 5 1

Vanc. 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 — 1 3 0

LP: Flodstrom

Pitching

Wilder — Bradow 9IP, 2H, 2HBP, 5BB, 3K; Flodstrom 1.1IP, H, R, K.

Hitting

Wilder — Wood 2-4, 2B, BB; Bradow 1-3, BB; Whitman 1-3; Adams 1-4.

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