PORT ANGLES — Wilder Jr. won its third league game in a row and can do no worse than third place in the NW Area 1 American Legion AA League after a 10-3 romp over Lynden Christian at Volunteer Field.
Wilder Jr. blew open a close game with five runs in the bottom of the sixth to take a commanding seven-run lead in the seventh. Lynden Christian called the game after six innings because the Lyncs had to catch the Port Townsend ferry.
With the win, Wilder Jr. pushed its record to 10-3, tied for second place in the 14-team league. Burlington is 9-2 with a couple of games left, while Mount Vernon will win the league title with a 12-0 record. Wilder could finish either second or third depending on how Burlington ends its season.
“There’s always more. There’s always room for improvement,” said coach Zac Moore on his team’s success this year. “Our bats are starting to heat up again.”
Logan Olson had an outstanding game on the mound for Wilder Jr. After allowing a pair of unearned runs in the first inning, Olson held firm, allowing just four hits in five innings. He struck out seven and walked three and didn’t allow an earned run all game. Connor Bear pitched a perfect sixth inning, allowing no hits and no walks.
“Logan’s curveball was effective. He was low in the zone,” said coach Zac Moore.
Moore also said Michael Grubb executed a perfect safety squeeze to drive in Wilder Jr.’s first run in the third inning. That started a four-run barrage that put Wilder Jr. back in charge of the game.
“The curve felt pretty good. The fastball felt good,” said Olson.
Olson not only contributed on the mound, he also had an RBI double, a stolen base and a run scored at the plate.
Grubb ended up 2 for 4 with two runs scored and an RBI. Ty Bradow was 2 for 3 with a run scored, while Silas Thomas had a hit, a run scored, a stolen base and two RBIs.
Adam Watkins had a hit and two RBIs. Trey Baysinger had a hit, two runs scored and an RBI.
Olson is enjoying the team’s success this season.
“We started off hot, hit some rough patches, but the last few games, we’ve been playing well,” Olson said.
Olson is one of the team’s big contributors from Forks. Trey Baysinger is another Forks player who is a big part of the team and Wilder Jr. also has some pretty contributors from Sequim (Grubb, Silas Thomas, Conner Bear, Zach McCracken) and Bainbridge (Joey Hildebrandt).
“Doesn’t matter where we’re from. We’re family, ” Moore said.
Wilder Junior now moves on to the Yakima Valley Peppers Tournament in Selah beginning Friday with a game against Mount Spokane. The American Legion postseason begins July 17.
Wilder Jr. 10, Lynden Christ. 3
LC 2 0 0 0 0 1 x — 3 4 5
WJr. 0 0 4 1 0 5 x — 10 10 3
Wilder Jr. — Olson 5IP, 4H, 0ER, 7K, 3BB; Bear 1IP, 0H, 0ER.
Wilder Jr. — Grubb, 2-4, 2R, RBI; Bradow 2-3 R; Olson 1-4, 2B, R, RBI, SB; Thomas 1-2, R, 2RBI, BB, SB, HBP; Watkins 1-2, 2RBI, HBP; Baysinger 1-3, 2R, RBI, HBP; Hildebrandt 1-4, RBI; Bear 1-1, R.
Crosscutters win two
The Olympic Crosscutters also beat Lynden Christian 8-3 at Volunteer Field. Coach John Qualls said pitchers Trenton Indelicato and reliever Logan Powers were excellent.
Indelicato earned the victory by hurling four solid innings in which he gave up only one unearned run. In picking up the save, Powers chalked up an impressive nine strikeouts in just three innings. His most important strikeout came with the bases loaded and two outs in the sixth inning.
The Cutters’ offense was highlighted by hits from John Vaara, Kole Acker, Dalton Kilmer, Elijah Floodstrom and Nathan Seeley. The Cutters applied constant pressure on the Lynden defense with seven stolen bases, including two double steals.
Qualls said Reed turned in a workman-like performance behind the plate, blocking and framing pitches and gunning out a runner attempting a steal of second base. The two youngest Cutters — Parker Nickerson and Ryan Rancourt — contributed to the Cutters’ excellent defensive work.