Editors Note: The photo caption for this story incorrectly identified the Port Angeles player pictured in the photograph. The correct player is now named in the photo caption.
PORT ANGELES — The Olympic League 2A champion Port Angeles baseball team tuned up for the West Central District 3 tournament with a 9-1 nonleague win over Class 3A Peninsula to close out their regular season.
You couldn’t have blamed the boys one bit if they had been flat after Monday’s emotional and epic come-from-behind win Monday over North Kitsap to capture the Olympic 2A crown, but the Roughriders were efficient at the plate, on the mound and in the field in taking care of business during senior night against the bigger school Wednesday to win their sixth straight game.
A quartet of Port Angeles pitchers held the Seahawks to five hits and one run, while the Riders did their usual damage at the plate, grinding out at-bats, drawing walks, stealing bases, taking extra bases with smart baserunning and delivering a couple of big blows. Port Angeles simply beat Peninsula down with eight hits, seven steals, five walks and two sacrifice flies.
Coach Karl Myers said after Monday’s win, in which the Riders came from seven runs down against a Division 1A-bound pitcher to beat the Vikings to win sole possession of the Olympic 2A championship, the kids were relaxed.
“More than anything, we just had a really loose practice,” he said. He said the Riders concentrated on taking aggressive swings, which resulted in a couple of long bombs by Port Angeles hitters.
Daniel Basden had the biggest bomb, an RBI triple to deep left center. He also contributed a walk, a stolen base and scored two runs.
“That kid is just a gamer,” Myers said.
Myers said the mantra of the team all year has been to focus on the task at hand and not worry about games down the road. The players have talked about this all year. “We’re not thinking ahead,” Myers said.
Gavin Guerrero had went 2 for 2 with two runs scored, while Tyler Bowen was 2 for 2 with two RBIs, a run and a sacrifice fly. Ethan Flodstrom was 1 for 2 with two runs, while Carson Jackson had a double, a run and an RBI.
Saving up pitching for the postseason, the Riders used four pitchers in the game. Brady Shimko, Hayden Woods, Jadon Seibel and Bo Bradow combined to five-hit the Seahawks with a total of seven strikeouts.
The Roughriders (11-1, 16-3 overall) begin their postseason run Saturday as the No. 1 seed out of the Olympic 2A League. They get a first-round bye and play the winner of Eatonville (9-5, 12-8) and Steilacoom (8-6, 13-7), the third- and fourth-place teams out of the South Puget Sound League.
The Riders play at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds in Silverdale. If the Riders win that game, they will qualify for the state tournament and can do no worse than fourth out of district. Win or lose, they next play May 12 at the same site.
Port Angeles 9, Peninsula 1
PEN 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 — 1 5 3
PA 1 3 1 4 0 0 X — 9 8 2
WP: Shimko LP: Fisher
Peninsula — Fisher 3IP, 7R, 7H, 4BB, 2K; Grobins 3IP, H, BB, 3K.
Port Angeles — Shimko 2IP, H, 2K; Woods 2IP, 2H, ER, K; Seibel 2IP, H, 2K; Bradow IP, H, 2K.
Peninsula — Vogel 1-3, Bunch 1-3, Fisher 1-2, Coalson 1-3, R, SB; Sturn 0-1, RBI.
Port Angeles — Bowen 2-2, SB, SF, R, 2RBI; Guerrero 2-2, SB, 2R; Basden 1-2, 3B, BB, SB, 2R, RBI; Jackson 1-3, SB, R, 2B, RBI; Flodstrom 1-2, HB, SB, 2R; McGuffey 1-2, BB, RBI.
Sports Editor Pierre LaBossiere can be contacted at 360-417-3525 or [email protected]