PORT ANGELES — Wilder went up against the elite Australian team at the Firecracker Tournament on Sunday and showed that they can go toe to toe with the best baseball players that country has to offer.
Australia Black won a hard-fought contest 3-2, ending Wilder’s run at the tournament. Australia Black, which is undefeated at the Firecracker Tournament, moved on to play in the championship game Sunday night after press deadline against either Australia Red or Centerfield out of Woodland.
Australia Black has several ballplayers who are part of Australia’s U-19 national World Cup squad.
“They … are … good,” said Wilder coach Karl Myers. “They’re fast and strong.”
“We outplayed them for six innings. We weren’t just hanging with them, we were putting pressure on them, they made some excellent plays. We gave them too many extra opportunities in the first inning. In really close games like this, you have to play clean. “
Myers said the Australian teams are all around good. Wilder also lost 5-2 Saturday night to Australia Red, which had a very good pitcher, Ryan Hudson, who kept Wilder off-balance all game.
Wilder went 2-3 in the Firecracker Tournament and are 13-5 on the season. They next move on to the Clackamas Tournament in the Portland, Ore., area.
“[Australia Black] is an impressive club. It’d be fun to play them again. We might down at Clackamas,” Myers said.
Saturday night’s game
Australia Red 5, Wilder 2
Australia Red 5, Wilder 2
Wilder had its chances, but Hudson pitched an outstanding game for Australia Red, not allowing the Port Angeles batters to get any big innings going in a 5-2 Australia Red win over Wilder at the Firecracker Tournament.
Hudson, who hails from Sydney, gave up just four hits the entire game and other than an RBI base hit by Joel Wood in the fifth inning, Wilder could never quite get the big hit to blow the game open.
It wasn’t the cleanest game as both teams made six errors. The Wilder tandem of Ethan Flodstrom and Carson Ness pitched well, especially Ness, giving up just one earned run. Flodstrom went three innings, giving up two hits, four walks and one earned run, while Ness went four innings, giving up three hits and three runs, but none of them were earned. He struck out four and walked three.
“[Hudson] threw strikes. He didn’t give us any opportunities,” said Wilder coach Karl Myers. Hudson in fact gave up just one base on balls the entire game and hit two batters. Fifty-two of his 90 pitches were strikes. Whenever a pitcher doesn’t allow any freebies at the plate, “he forced us to play the whole seven innings,” Myers said.
Wood had a good game behind the plate for Wilder, throwing out four baserunners. Myers liked Ness’ performance.
“That was his first extended outing of the summer,” he said.
Wilder had some chances. They left two runners on base in both in the first and the second innings but couldn’t score a run as Australia Red built up a 2-0 lead going in to the fifth inning.
The team’s best shot might have come in the fifth inning. Wilder had already scored two runs on Wood’s RBI single and an error to make the score 2-2. They had runners on first and third with two outs with extra-base machine Flodstrom at the plate.
Flodstrom got a pitch he liked and scorched a hard line drive right up the middle, but Hudson was able to snag Flodstrom’s rocket, more out of self-defense than anything, ending the rally. If not for Hudson’s play, that line drive scores at least one run and was possibly hit hard enough to score the baserunner on first base.
After that rally was snuffed, Australia Red came back and scored three runs in the sixth inning, thanks to a walk, a couple of wild pitches, a sac fly and a couple of defensive miscues in the field by Wilder. In the sixth and the seventh, Hudson allowed just a single baserunner to get on in each inning as Wilder couldn’t muster one of its trademark rallies to pull the game out.
Aust. Red 5, Wilder 2
Aust. 0 0 2 0 0 3 0 — 5 5 6
Wilder 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 — 2 4 6
WP: Hudson LP: Ness
Australia Red — Hudson, 7IP, 4H, ER, 4K, BB.
Wilder — Flodstrom 3IP, 2H, ER, 5K, 4BB; Ness 4IP, 3H, 0ER, 4K, 3BB.
Australia Red — Daniels 2-3, BB; Laverty 1-4, 2B; Martin 1-3, 2R; Harris 1-3, RBI.
Wilder — Wood 1-3, RBI, SB; Bowen 1-2, R; Merritt 1-1; Wall 1-3.
Wilder Jr. 19, Stanwood 5
PORT ANGELES — Wilder Jr. rode a nine-run first inning to wallop Stanwood 19-5 at Volunteer Park, vaulting themselves into second place in the NW Area 1 AA League.
Logan Olson went 4 for 4 at the plate, scoring four runs and driving in two in Saturday’s five-inning win that pushed Wilder Jr.’s league record to 8-3.
Ty Bradow went 2 for 4 with a double, three runs scored and two RBIs. Joey Hildebrandt had a double, two runs scored, two RBIs and two stolen bases. Michael Grubb scored three runs, while Trey Baysinger scored a run and drove in three runs.
Silas Thomas was 1 for 1 with a run scored, two walks and two RBIs while Zach McCracken hit a double and scored a run.
On the mound, Beckett Jarnigan earned the win, going three innings and giving up one hit and one earned run. He struck out three and walked three. Bradow pitched the final two innings, allowing three hits and no earned runs. He struck out one and walked none.
Wilder Jr. (12-7, 9-3 in league) next hosts Lynden Christian (3-5) at 5 p.m. today at Volunteer Field.
Wilder Jr. 19, Stanwood 5
Stan. 0 0 0 1 4 x x — 5 4 4
WJr. 9 6 4 0 x x x — 19 11 3
Wilder Jr. — Jarnigan 3IP, H, ER, 3K, 3BB; Bradow 2IP, 3H, 0ER, K.