TACOMA — Fife and North Mason didn’t make it easy on the Port Angeles baseball team, but the Roughriders showed they can win tough games, first squeaking past North Mason 1-0 and then beating Fife 3-2 in eight innings to win the West Central District III 2A championship, the Riders’ first district championship in baseball.
The Riders open play in the State 2A tournament against Sehome at Auburn High School at 1 p.m. Saturday. The first two games at the state tournament are loser-out games.
North Kitsap and North Mason also are among the three Olympic League 2A teams at the 16-team state tournament. Sequim came within one win of making state.
“That speaks volumes to the league,” said Roughriders coach Karl Myers. “We’re all pulling for each other.”
Riders’ pitchers Hayden Woods, Seth Scofield and Tyler Bowen gave up just five hits, two walks and one earned run in Saturday’s championship game. Bowen, who pitched a hitless two innings to close the game, gets credit for the win.
Woods went three innings, giving up one hit, one walk and one earned run. Scofield went three, giving up four hits and an unearned run while walking none. Bowen went two innings, walking one batter in an otherwise perfect outing.
“What it came down to was the pitchers,” Myers said. “We knew we weren’t going to score a lot of runs” against Fife.
Myers also said the 1-0 and 3-2 wins gave the Riders’ players valuable lessons in playing the kind of tight, close games that Port Angeles will continue to see in the state tournament.
Ethan Flodstrom had the big blow that helped lead to the win. With the score tied 2-2, he hit a triple in the top of the eighth to lead off the inning. He was able to come in with what turned out to be the winning run on a Fife error on a Bo Bradow grounder.
Bradow also drove in Flodstrom in the first inning with a double. Flodstrom had gotten on base with a walk.
Fife had the winning run on third base in the bottom of the seventh inning, but Bowen was able to get the Trojans’ David Bedell to fly out. In the bottom of the eighth, Bowen and the Riders’ defense didn’t allow a baserunner as the Trojans went three-up, three-down.
Gavin Guerrero finished the game 2-4 with an RBI. Bradow was 1 for 4 with a double and two RBIs and Milo Whitman was 2 for 4. Flodstrom finished 1 for 3 with two runs scored, a triple and a walk. Bowen had a stolen base and a run scored.
Myers said the Roughriders are confident, but are practicing hard and taking nothing for granted going into state.
“This is a really fun group. They play with a lot of swagger, but they also know it’s a process,” he said.
Sehome, a fourth-place team in the Northwest Conference is 16-9 overall and went 10-3 in league. The Roughriders, champions of both the Olympic League 2A Division and the WCD III Tournament, are 19-4 overall (12-0 in league). Three out of the Riders’ four losses are to 3A teams.
Port Angeles 3, Fife 2
PA 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 — 3 6 1
Fife 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 — 2 5 3
WP: Bowen LP: Knapp
Port Angeles — Woods 3IP, H, ER, K, BB; Scofield 3IP, 4H, 0ER, 3K; Bowen 2IP, 0H, 0ER, BB.
Fife — Knapp 7IP, 6H, 3ER, 4K, 2BB; Baker 1IP, 0H, K.
Port Angeles — G. Guerrero 2-4, RBI; Whitman 2-4; Bradow 1-4, 2B, 2RBI; Bowen 0-2, R, SB; Flodstrom 1-3, 3B, 2R, BB.
Fife — A. Guerrero 2-4, RBI; Bedell 1-4, 2B, RBI.
Sequim’s season ends
TACOMA — Sequim fell 5-1 to North Kitsap in their final game at the WCD III Tournament. The Vikings qualified for state with the win.
Coach Dave Ditlefsen said pitcher Johnnie Young did his best for Sequim, but that the Wolves had trouble scoring against the Vikings’ pitching all year.
“Johnnie Young kept us in the game,” Ditlefsen said. He went the entire game, giving up just four earned runs on nine hits. He also added two hits at the plate. Brandon Barnett also had two hits.
Sequim’s lone run was driven in by Silas Thomas in the first inning as the Wolves got off to a good start. They were still knotted up 1-1 in the fourth when the Vikings took control with two runs in the fourth and two in the fifth.
North Kitsap beat Sequim 3-0, 2-1 and 5-1 in three games this year. In three games against this extremely tough team, the Wolves only allowed 10 runs, but they were only about to score two themselves.
The Wolves had a 14-9 season. What’s remarkable about that record is the Wolves are very young, with most of the kids on the team either sophomores or freshmen. The Wolves only graduate Johnnie Young, Kyler Rollness and Joey Oliver.
While Oliver and Johnnie Young were everyday starters and will be hard to replace, the Wolves had seven sophomores that played a ton of innings this season — Michael Young, Hayden Eaton, Caleb Pozernick, Barnett, Austin Newton, Colton Reed and Michael Grubb. They are all coming back as well as Thomas, the team’s lone junior.
“The future is rising,” Ditlefsen said.
North Kitsap 5, Sequim 1
Sequim 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 — 1 7 1
NK 0 0 1 2 2 0 x — 5 9 2
WP: Gowin LP: J. Young
Sequim — J. Young 6IP, 9H, 4ER, BB, K.
North Kitsap — Gowin 6.2IP, 7H, 0ER, 3BB, 7K; Reister 0.1IP, 0H, 0ER.
Sequim — J. Young 2-3; Barnett 2-2, BB; M. Young 1-4; Thomas 1-3, RBI.
North Kitsap — Gowin 2-3, Bower 2-3, HR, 2R, 2RBI; Fisher 2-2, R, BB; Schuchart 1-3, 2B, RBI.
Quilcene to State
ELMA — The Quilcene Rangers were crushed by Concordia Christian 12-2 early in the season.
However, this is a completely different Quilcene team, which needed to beat Concordia in their district baseball playoff game Saturday to qualify for the 1B state tournament. The Rangers got a huge six-run fifth inning en route to an 11-9 win, sending the Rangers to the 1B State Tournament this week.
“We weren’t expecting to do anything this year,” said coach Darrin Dotson. The Rangers began the season 2-8, with seven of those losses 10-run affairs called after five innings.
Dotson said Saturday’s win was Quilcene’s biggest game in the five years that he has been coaching there.
A 15-1 win over Muckleshoot on April 25 turned the Rangers’ season around. That began a four-game winning streak to end the regular season. Then, Quilcene won two out of three games at the 1B district tournament to qualify for state. Unlike bigger schools, only eight 1B teams make the state tournament.
Dotson gives credit to Chase Newman, who win six innings in the win. After Concordia’s lead-off hitter got on base in the seventh, Robert Comstock III came on to pitch, slamming the door and getting three straight Concordia hitters to pop up, earning a well-deserved save.
“I’ve never seen [Comstock] pitch that well,” Dotson said.
Olin Reynolds also had a big play on defense. After a Hawks’ batter drove in two runs with a base hit, Reynolds, playing shortstop caught him napping and not paying attention while walking back to first base. Reynolds threw him out to end the inning. Dotson thought that play was a big turning point in the game with the Rangers clinging to a 10-8 lead.
In the Rangers’ big fifth-inning rally, Reynolds led off the inning with a bloop single. Comstock had a hit and a stolen base and Holdem Elkins had a hit and a stolen base.