By Michael Carman
Peninsula Daily News
BURLINGTON — Wilder Junior sealed a state tournament berth with a 15-5 pasting of host Burlington at the American Legion AA Area 1 District Tournament on Friday night at Burlington-Edison High School.
The win put Wilder (17-9 overall) one victory away from a spot in the district finals and secured a spot in the 16-team American Legion AA State Championship at Parker Faller Field and Davis High School in Yakima on July 27-31.
Wilder faced No. 1 district seed Mount Vernon late Saturday. The two teams split regular-season games by identical 10-0 scores.
Against Burlington, Wilder batted around in a seven-run first inning.
“We had an epic first inning,” coach Zac Moore said.
“Everybody who hit the ball hit it on a line and hit it somewhere. Anytime you can put a seven-spot on somebody that just gives you a huge boost going forward.
Michael Grubb had an RBI double in that first inning, Joey Hildebrandt added a two-RBI double, Logan Olson had a two-run single and Kamron Meadows and Landon Seibel all drove in runs for Wilder.
“Every ball that we hit was struck so solidly,” Moore said. “Their pitcher was forced to throw fastballs and we had his timing. It was … abundancy all around.”
Grubb went 4 for 4 at the plate with a walk, double, three runs and two RBIs.
Hildebrandt doubled twice and drove in three runs.
Kamron Meadows tripled as part of a three hit, three run game.
“Kamron had a monster day,” Moore said.
“Our two-out hitting was unbelievable. Burlington would go out and get two quick outs on us and we would get a monster hit and railroad it into something else.”
Moore said the team’s defense also performed well.
“Grubb and Landon Seibel’s play on the left side of the infield was tremendous,” Moore said. “Grubb made plays at shortstop that I haven’t seen all year and Landon made some great grabs and cross-diamond throws to first.”
Wilder AA 15, Burlington 5
Wilder 7 0 0 1 2 0 5 — 15 16 1
Burl. 0 0 2 0 1 2 0— 5 11 6
Wilder AA — Thomas 4.2IP, 7H, 3ER, 2BB, 2K; Bear IP, 3H, 2R, K; Woods 1.1IP, H, 2BB, K.
Wilder AA — Grubb 4-4, BB, 2B, 3R, 2RBI; Olson 3-5, 3R, 3RBI; Hildebrandt 3-5, 2 2B, 2R, 3RBI; Meadows 3-4, 3B, SB, 3R, RBI; Thomas 2-5, 3B, RBI;
Wilder Junior 1, Blaine 0
BURLINGTON — Ty Bradow’s pinch-hit ground ball to shortstop scored Beckett Jarnagin and earned Wilder AA a 1-0 walkoff-win over Blaine in the first game of the American Legion AA Area 1 District Tournament on Thursday afternoon at Burlington-Edison High School.
“Our hitting wasn’t what it normally is but we stepped it up on the mound and in the field,” Wilder AA coach Zac Moore said.
Starter Josh Hildebrandt was tough for Blaine to figure out in his stellar 6.1 innings on the mound.
Hildebrant, a Bainbridge High Schooler who played for the Olympic Crosscutters last season, allowed no runs on four hits and four walks while striking out 11 batters.
“He had good velocity today and his curveball was staying low to the ground,” Moore said. “He kept it low in the zone, the umpire had a low zone and he was really effective today.”
Adam Watkins picked up the win in relief, taking over matters in the seventh inning and recording two outs while walking one batter and hitting another.
“Adam Watkins came in and shut it down,” Moore said. “That was huge.”
Moore said Forks’ Logan Olson made a stellar defensive play at third base in the second inning with runners at the corners.
“He caught a line drive in foul territory and threw the runner, who had left for second on a steal attempt, out at first,” Moore said.
“That was a really strong play for us.”
Moore also said catcher Zach McCracken was in good form.
“We played great defense today and Zach McCracken played really well behind the plate,” Moore said. “He caught three or four foul tips for strikeouts.”
Wilder AA 1, Blaine 0
Blaine 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 — 0 4 2
Wilder 0 0 0 0 0 0 1— 1 5 0
Wilder AA — Hildebrant 6.1IP, 4H, 4BB, 11K; Watkins 0.2IP, BB.
Wilder AA — Jarnagin 1-3, R; Bradow 1-1, RBI; Baysinger 1-3, 2B; Olson 1-3.