Colton Romero pitches to Bainbridge Monday afternoon at Volunteer Field. Playing first is Rylan Politika, who later came in to pitch. Romero and Politika allowed just five hits in a 5-4 Port Angeles win. (Dave Logan/for Peninsula Daily News)

Colton Romero pitches to Bainbridge Monday afternoon at Volunteer Field. Playing first is Rylan Politika, who later came in to pitch. Romero and Politika allowed just five hits in a 5-4 Port Angeles win. (Dave Logan/for Peninsula Daily News)

PREP BASEBALL: Roughriders find a way against tough Bainbridge team

Port Angeles wins again Tuesday night to remain in first place

Editor’s Note: Port Angeles beat Bainbridge again 3-1 Tuesday night in Bainbridge. The Roughriders are now tied just with North Kitsap, which beat Kingston 7-1.

PORT ANGELES — The Port Angeles baseball team looked to be in trouble early as Bainbridge pitcher Duncan Bos was in complete command over the first 3⅔ innings, no-hitting the Roughriders, who found themselves down 3-0 in the fourth inning with two outs and no baserunners.

But the Roughriders found a way to win, riding patience at the plate, some good defensive plays and a couple of clutch hits to score five runs on just four hits to beat the first-place Spartans 5-4.

Bos started losing the strike zone in the fourth and fifth innings and the patient Riders’ batters started clogging up the basepaths with walks. Clutch singles from Jordan Shumway and Kaleb Mullen were the difference as Port Angeles’ victory forced a three-way tie for first place in the Olympic League. That tie was broken Tuesday as Port Angeles and Bainbridge played again in a home-and-home series.

Bainbridge, one of the top 3A teams in the state, came in to Monday’s game at Volunteer Field with a 9-1 record in league. After the victory, Port Angeles, Bainbridge and North Kitsap were all tied at the top of the Olympic League at 9-2. North Kitsap is No. 7 in the state in Ratings Percentage Index and Port Angeles is No. 9. Bainbridge is No. 8 among 3A schools.

“[Bos] was a tough guy. He was working quickly, keeping us off-balance. We were able to put together some great at-bats,” said coach Zac Moore. “They put in so much work. To beat a team like this is a testament to their work ethic.”

Ezra Townsend came off the bench for a long pinch-hit double to deep right-center.

“This means a lot,” Townsend said. “Everybody had energy today. This was awesome.”

Port Angeles didn’t get very many hits against Bos and reliever Braden French — just three singles and a double while striking out 12 times — but they made those hits count, then got clutch pitching and defense to keep Bainbridge from coming back.

Bos threw just 35 pitches in the first three innings as he struck out six of the nine batters he faced. Starting pitcher Colton Romero pitched well, but was hit in the forearm by a hard line drive in the fourth. He was able to finish out the inning but had to move to first base with a bruised forearm, which required icing down after the game.

In the fourth, the Riders broke through with a run, with all the damage coming with two outs.

Romero walked with two outs to give Port Angeles its first baserunner of the game. Mullen was hit by a pitch and Shumway followed with a single to both score a run and break up the no-hitter.

The Riders waited for the fifth inning to do most of their damage. Bos, who had been so dominant, suddenly struggled to find the strike zone and the Riders took advantage.

Luke Flodstrom and Tate Alton both walked, while Nate Basden laid down a perfect bunt single down the left-field line to load the bases.

Alex Angevine induced a bases-loaded walk to drive in a run and Romero drove in another run on a slow groundout to make it 3-3.

Mullen then came up with a clutch hit, hitting a hard line drive that got through Bainbridge’s third baseman who was playing shallow to drive in two more runs.

With Romero taken off the mound, Rylan Politika came in to pitch the final three innings and did great, allowing one run on one hit. Shumway made two great catches in deep left field on long Bainbridge drives, including one in the top of the seventh that he had to run a mile to track down at the left-field line.

Romero finished with four innings pitched, three hits and three earned runs allowed. He struck out two.

Port Angeles (9-2, 13-4) and Bainbridge (9-2, 12-5) clashed again on Tuesday after press deadline with first place on the line. The Riders next host Kingston (6-5, 9-6) at 6:15 p.m. Friday at either Civic Field or Volunteer Field.

Port Angeles 5, Bainbridge 4

BI 2 0 0 1 0 1 0 — 4 5 1

PA 0 0 0 1 4 0 x — 5 4 1

Pitching

Port Angeles — Romero 4 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 2 K; Politika 3 IP, 2 H, ER, K.

Hitting

Port Angeles — Mullen 1-2, 2 RBI, HBP; Townsend 1-1, 2B; Basden 1-3, R; Angevine 0-2, R, RBI, BB; Shumway 1-2, RBI.

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