Mekhi Morlin threw an 11-strikeout one-hitter across six innings as Winlock picked up its first win of the season in a 6-5 road victory over Castle Rock Friday.
“He was very sharp,” Winlock coach Jordan Nailon said. “He worked the ball up and down and looked like a guy that’s been playing summer ball for me since seventh grade.”
It was a relieving outcome for a Cardinals team that started out the season getting shut out by two of the top teams in the Central 2B League (Kalama and Adna).
The Cardinals jumped out to a 3-0 lead, led most of the game and entered the bottom of the seventh holding a 6-1 lead. Morlin hit his pitch count of 107 pitches, so Nailon put in reliever Aiden Freitas to get the final three outs. Freitas did what was asked of him, it just took longer than Nailon and the Cardinals had hoped.
Freitas struck out the side but took 10 Rocket batters to do so, throwing 49 pitches and nearly giving the Cards a heart attack in the process. With the bases loaded and the Rockets’ leadoff hitter coming back to the plate for the second time in the inning, Freitas came up clutch with the strikeout to seal the win.
“Our guys figured out a way to do it,” Nailon said. “We weren’t the ‘27 Yankees but we put the ball in play and gritted it out.”
Offensively, Aiden Eitel hammered a triple and scored a run while Landon Tiemens had a single, an RBI and a run, Chris Heikkila scored two runs and catcher Payton Sickles contributed a single and a run.
Winlock (1-2) hosts undefeated powerhouse Toutle Lake (2-0) at 4 p.m. on Monday.
Junior center fielder Gavin Parker went 3-for-4 at the plate with three RBIs and Napavine found its groove in a 13-1 road win over Stevenson on Friday.
Ace Laythan Demarest struck out four batters, walked three and allowed two hits across three innings for the win, while Scotty Burdick threw the fourth and fifth innings with two Ks, two hits and zero walks.
“Our pitchers threw strikes and we didn’t walk as many as we did against Toutle Lake,” Napavine coach Brian Demarest said.
The Tigers (1-1) were coming off an 11-0 season-opening defeat at the hands of undefeated Toutle Lake on Tuesday after having just one full-team practice. The Tigers looked much sharper Friday with a few more practices under their belts.
Demarest was 2-for-3 at the plate with two runs against Stevenson, while Ashton Demarest also went 2-for-3 with two RBIs and a run and Keith Olson was 1-for-2 with one RBI. The Tigers collected 11 totals hits on the day to Stevenson’s four.
“I liked where we were at,” Demarest said. “We caught baseballs, played catch and looked clean. It was nicer to see.”
The Tigers travel to Onalaska for a 4 p.m. matchup on Monday.