<strong>Keith Thorpe</strong>/Peninsula Daily News
                                Wilder’s Milo Whitman, right, dives safely into second behind Australia White shortstop Amrik Singh while second baseman Brad Fraser bobbles the ball on a second-inning rundown play Friday at Port Angeles Civic Field.

Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News Wilder’s Milo Whitman, right, dives safely into second behind Australia White shortstop Amrik Singh while second baseman Brad Fraser bobbles the ball on a second-inning rundown play Friday at Port Angeles Civic Field.

FIRECRACKER TOURNAMENT: Wilder wins a pair after opening loss

By Michael Carman

Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — Wilder starter Bo Bradow wasn’t quite warmed up to his liking and it showed as he allowed four straight hits and two runs in the first inning of Friday night’s Dick Brown Memorial Firecracker clash with the Australian White Colts.

“I started warming up a little late in the bullpen and had maybe 15 minutes on the mound back here,” Bradow said. “First inning I was still trying to feel my pitches. I knew I had my defense behind me. I gave up a few hits just leaving the ball too high up.”

But Bradow persevered, changing things up on the mound by relying on a stellar changeup, getting some backup from his defense and helping his own cause with two RBIs at the plate as host Wilder improved to 2-1 in the annual tournament with an 8-2 win.

“I was leaving it too high and then I started pitching the outside corner,” Bradow said. “By the third inning I started moving my changeup in. First and second inning I was just going fastball, curve ball. Third inning I got my changeup working and it felt really nice. I used that most of the night and kept them off balance.”

Bradow allowed just one hit and hit two batters the rest of the way, tossing a complete-game five-hitter with seven strikeouts.

“That was great to see,” Wilder coach Karl Myers said. “We talk a lot about adversity and how baseball is a tough game. You can make it harder on yourself when you get frustrated. Bo did a great job of, bases loaded and no outs, holding them to two runs in the first. That’s almost a momentum builder for you as a pitcher.

“Coach Dietz said it, ‘You have two pitches you are going to compete. You have three pitches you are going to dominate tonight.’ He did. His changeup tonight was his best pitch.”

Bradow’s sacrifice fly in the bottom of the first drove in Gavin Guerrero, who had reached base via a double — a shot to shallow center that dropped in despite the best diving efforts of the Australian center fielder.

“And getting one [run] across in the first took a little pressure off,” Myers said. “That obviously helps his personal confidence but as a team that shows the opponent, ‘Look, we aren’t going anywhere.’ That was huge for us.”

It gave Bradow a jolt that he took back to the hill.

“That pumped me back up, and made me feel like I was still helping the team even after a rough inning,” Bradow said.

Wilder scored at least one run in every inning. The dealership nine grabbed the lead for good in the second, taking advantage of a leadoff walk to Lucas Jarnagin, Wyatt Hall reaching on an error and Joel Wood getting hit by a pitch to load the bases.

Guerrero then worked the count full before drawing a walk to bring one run in. Milo Whitman followed with a fielders’ choice RBI to take the lead and Wilder scored another run when Whitman drew the attention of the defense and a throw to second base that allowed Hall to break for home.

“Those [rundown plays] are a good time,” Bradow said. “That’s coach Myers mixing in some stuff he learned at Gonzaga.”

Wilder scored on a similar play with runners at first and third in the third inning, as Bowen lured the Australian catcher into throwing to second base while Timmy Adams trotted home for a 5-2 advantage.

“First and third offense is almost like a baseline out of bounds in basketball, you should get a run,” Myers said. “You can control those situations and when you are playing an uncontrollable game when you can control what is happening and manipulate it, you set basic rules and go from there. All night long we were very aggressive. The hustle was there.”

Bradow appreciated the team-focused approach.

“It was a team effort, everybody pitching in,” he said. “Not too many extra base hits, just guys putting the ball in play and forcing them to make a play or make an error. And being aggressive on the basepaths.”

And he was helped by strong defense in the field with Bowen making a shoestring nab on a flare to shallow center and running down another pair of shots that could have dropped in for hits.

“Tyler, he covers a lot of range,” Bradow said.

“Tyler gets to balls that just nobody gets to,” Myers said. “That provides you so much confidence as a pitcher knowing whether it’s on the ground or if it’s hit in the air you have that type of defense backing you up.”

And Bradow motored through, finishing the game on an economical 82 pitches.

“His changeup sped his fastball up, but it also made it so they couldn’t sit fastball, breaking ball,” Myers said. “They didn’t have a clue up there. It was really high-level sequencing of his pitches. Guys were up there sitting fastball first pitch and getting a changeup, then getting a breaking ball back to the fastball. Very high level for him.”

Wilder sealed a top four seed into today’s semifinals with the victory.

The tournament continues today at Civic Field with the fifth/sixth-place consolation game at 9 a.m.; a matchup of the No. 1 vs. No. 4 seeds at noon and the No. 2 and 3 seeds at 3 p.m. The winners of those games will meet for the championship at 6 p.m.

Wilder 8, Australia White 2

Aussies 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 — 2 5 3

Wilder 1 3 1 1 1 1 X— 8 10 1

WP: Bradow LP: DeSousa

Pitching

Australia White — DeSousa 5 IP, 9H, 7R, 3ER, 2BB, 3HBP, 2K; Walmsley IP, H, ER, 3BB.

Wilder — Bradow 7 IP, 5H, 2ER, 2HBP, 7K.

Hitting

Wilder — Whitman 2-3, BB, RBI; Guerrero 1-2, BB, 2B, R, RBI; Wood 0-2, 2HBP, 2R; Bradow 1-3, 2RBI; Merritt 1-3; Jarnagin 1-2, BB, 2R, Hall 1-2, 2BB, 2R.

Thursday’s Games

Wilder splits pair

PORT ANGELES — Wilder bounced back from a tournament opening 5-2 loss to Centerfield Roosters by squeaking past familiar foe Lakeside Babe Ruth 3-2 Thursday night.

Wilder stranded nine runners against pitcher Cade Reitzenstein.

“He wasn’t walking guys, he wasn’t overpowering, but he was crafty and they made plays behind him,” Myers said. “We did enough on the mound to be successful, but we gave away too many innings at the plate.”

Myers was impressed with the bounce-back his squad showed in the nightcap, a 3-2 win over Lakeside Babe Ruth, Wilder’s third win in as many games on the summer against Lakeside.

“First game of our home tournament and we lose and we come back and respond right away,” he said. “That response was what we wanted to see, us getting back to where we want to be and how we want to play.”

Pitchers Jadon Seibel, Brody Merritt and Hayden Woods combined on a three-hitter.

Bowen stole four bases for Wilder, including a steal of home to plate the first run of the contest in the bottom of the second inning.

Wilder loaded the bases in the third when Guerrero and Whitman drew walks and Bradow was hit by a pitch. Bowen’s fielders’ choice brought home Guerrero but Wilder was unable to add to its advantage.

Lakeside pulled within 2-1 the next inning, scoring on a Guerrero error at shortstop with two outs.

But Wilder answered right back in the home half of the fourth, loading the bases again and scoring the eventual game-winning run on a Guerrero sacrifice fly to right field.

Lakeside added a run-scoring double in the fifth but Wilder starter Jadon Seibel was able to get out of the inning with the lead intact.

Seibel earned the win on the mound for Wilder, allowing two runs on two hits, walking four but striking out eight.

Merritt allowed a hit but struck out three in his inning of relief before giving way to Woods in the final frame.

Woods hit the leadoff batter and walked the next Lakeside hitter, but picked up a three-pitch strikeout and induced a popup. After another walk loaded the bases with two out, Woods got the final out on a popup to the pitching mound.

Wilder 3, Lakeside BR 2

Lakeside 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 — 2 3 2

Wilder 0 1 1 1 0 0 X— 3 8 1

WP: Seibel SV: Woods

Pitching

Wilder — Seibel 5 IP, 2R, ER, 2H, 4BB, 8K; Merritt IP, H, 3K; Woods IP, 2BB, K.

Hitting

Wilder — Bowen 2-3, 4SB, R, RBI; Woods 1-3, R; Guerrero 0-1, R, 2BB; Adams 1-2, BB; Wood 2-4; Whitman 1-3, Bradow 1-2,

Centerfield 5, Wilder 2

CF 0 1 0 0 0 2 2 — 5 7 1

Wilder 0 0 0 1 0 0 1— 2 6 2

WP: Reitzenstein LP: Bowen

Pitching

Centerfield — Reitzenstein 6.2 IP, 6H, 2ER, 4BB, 2K; Alvarez 0.1 IP.

Wilder — Adams 3 IP, 3H, ER, 5K; Bowen 4 IP, 4H, 4R, 2ER, 3K.

Hitting

Centerfield — Hunt 1-3, 2RBI; Krausee 1-3, R, RBI.

Wilder — Whitman 1-4, 2B, RBI; Guerrero 1-3, R, BB; Bradow 1-3, R; Woods 1-2, BB; Bowen 1-3, Wood 1-3, BB.

Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News Wilder pitcher Bo Bradow throws in the first inning against Australia White on Friday night at Port Angeles Civic Field.

Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News Wilder pitcher Bo Bradow throws in the first inning against Australia White on Friday night at Port Angeles Civic Field.

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