SILVERDALE — Port Angeles spotted league rival Olympic an early four-run lead in a loser-out Class 2A West Central District Tournament baseball contest before rallying back for a thrilling 7-5 victory Wednesday at Central Kitsap High School.
“We’ve had some tense moments the last couple of days but also some really amazing, rewarding games,” coach Casey Dietz said of the Roughriders’ back-to-back loser-out district playoff wins.
No. 9-seed Port Angeles (12-10) will now face No. 11 Orting (10-10) in a loser-out contest at 12:30 p.m. Saturday at Foss High School in Tacoma. A win and the Riders will face one last loser-out contest to reach the state regional round against Highline or White River later Saturday afternoon at Foss.
In Wednesday’s win, Beckett Jarnagin’s two-run home run to center field in the fifth inning scored Michael Soule with the eventual game-winning run and the Roughriders added an insurance run when Ezra Townsend tagged an RBI triple in the seventh.
Soule opened Port Angeles’ four-run fourth with a double and later came home on a Townsend single.
Colton Romero also added an RBI triple in the fourth to bring home Townsend. The Riders added a run when Kaleb Mullins reached base on an error.
“It was a big ballpark, and we were able to put some balls deep into the gap and down the line,” Dietz said.
“Beckett is somebody always near the top of the lineup. We can count on him to put together good at-bats and make hard contact.”
Dietz said he was proud of Townsend for fighting through some early season struggles.
“He had a slower start to the season than he would have liked, but he fought through that frustration and he’s grown and improved exponentially,” Dietz said. “We moved him up in the lineup and have to find time for him to get at-bats with John [Vaara] out injured.”
Romero bounces back
Romero started the game on the mound and had trouble figuring out the strike zone, Dietz said.
“He had a hard time controlling his pitches and was just trying to get used to the strike zone,” he said of Romero’s first inning.
“It also was really windy and they scored one of their runs on a misplayed fly ball that went over our center fielder’s head. But he came back and threw two more innings, held them scoreless and kept us from having to deplete our pitching staff.
“He was able to gut it out, get us back to the dugout and through that first inning. The game starts to speed up in that situation, and he was able to reduce the damage a little bit and it was good to see him rebound and then get that triple.”
Freshman Blake Sohlberg came on in relief and was stellar, scattering one run on three hits and a walk while striking out three.
“He continues to play phenomenal baseball for us and really has grown into a big-time role,” Dietz said. “There’s no spot too big for him. He’s the same guy all the time — calm, cool and collected. He will compete, he will throw strikes, and he was all of that.”
Port Angeles 7, Olympic 5
PA 0 0 0 4 2 0 1 — 7 11 0
Oly 4 0 0 0 1 0 0 — 5 5 1
Port Angeles: Romero 3 IP, 2 H, 4 ER, 5 BB, 4 K; Sohlberg 4 IP, 3 H, BB, 3 K.
Sequim 11, Kingston 1
KINGSTON — Taylee Rome led the way with three hits, doubling twice and driving in three runs, as the Wolves earned a 10-run-rule victory over the Buccaneers on Wednesday.
Sequim also took advantage of eight walks given up by Kingston and three Bucs errors to score seven unearned runs in the game.
Angel Wagner earned the win on the mound, allowing an earned run while scattering five hits and a walk over five innings.
The Wolves (7-5, 11-5) visit rival Port Angeles today.
Sequim 11, Kingston 1, 5 innings
Seq 1 3 2 2 3 — 11 6 0
King. 0 1 0 0 0 — 1 5 3
Sequim: Wagner 5 IP, 5 H, ER, BB, 2 K.
Kingston: Reinstra 3.2 IP, 4 H, 8 R, ER, 5 BB, 5 K; Moon 1.1 IP, 2 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, K.
Sequim: Rome 3-4, 2 2B, R, 3 RBI; Green 1-2, BB, 2B, R, 2 RBI; Grubb 1-3, 2B, BB, 2 R, RBI; Smith 1-2, 2 BB, 2 R.
Port Angeles 17, Bremerton 5, 5 innings
BREMERTON — The Riders (11-1, 16-1) pounded out 20 hits in a blowout win over the Knights.
Zoe Smithson (triple and a double), Lily Halberg (double), Peyton Rudd (double) and Taylor Worthington (double) all tallied extra-base hits, and Teagan Clark went 4-for-5 to lead Port Angeles.
The Riders are set to host rival Sequim today in their regular-season finale.
Port Angeles 17, Bremerton 5, 5 innings
PA 8 0 6 3 0 — 17 20 0
B 9 9 3 2 0 — 5 7 4
Port Angeles: Zimmer 3 IP, 3 R, 5 H, 0 BB, 3 K; Leitz 2 IP, 2 R, 2 H, K.
Port Angeles: Smithson 2-3, 2B, 3B, BB, 2 R, 5 RBI; Halberg 3-5, 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI; Rudd 3-3, 2B 2 BB, 3 R, RBI; Worthington 3-5, 2 2B, 3 R, RBI; Kimball 1-1, R, RBI; Clark 4-5, 2 R, RBI; Moore 1-2, R, RBI; Leitz 2-3, 2 BB, 2 R, 3 RBI.
Sports reporter Michael Carman can be contacted at [email protected]