2B Baseball: Ducks’ Star Freshman Shuts Out Tigers

OPENING DAY: Mossyrock Takes Down Lake Quinault, While Winlock and Napavine Falter on Opening Day Tuesday

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Napavine coach Brian Demarest and his Tigers knew what they were going into during Tuesday’s season-opening matchup at home against Toutle Lake. The Tigers knew they’d be facing one of the top freshman pitchers in the state, Zach Swanson, who is an Oregon State commit.

But with football season ending three days earlier and the team having just one full practice together before Tuesday’s game, there wasn’t a whole lot of time to prepare. It showed on the scoreboard as the Tigers were shutout, 11-0.

“Swanson throws well and we knew that going in,” Napavine coach Brian Demarest said. “It was the first live pitching we’ve seen this year. I’d rather face him right out the gate than an easy pitcher.”

Napavine senior Laythan Demarest, who was throwing a football against Onalaska on Saturday, threw baseballs on Tuesday, striking out three while allowing three hits and three runs in two innings. Gavin Parker came in for relief and threw 1 ⅓ innings with one strikeout, one hit, three runs and three walks. Scotty Burdick went ⅔ innings with three hits, three runs, three walks and one strikeout. Ashton Demarest pitched the final innings with two Ks, three walks, two runs, and one hit. 

At the plate, junior first baseman Keith Olson and sophomore outfielder Austin Chapman each went 1-for-2.

Demarest, who has just two kids who don’t play football, had gathered his team together for 45 minutes each night last week after football practice to prepare for the season. It was the Tigers’ first baseball game since the district tournament on May 7, and Demarest said it felt great to get back on the field after such a long wait.

“I was excited,” Demarest said. “I know we lost, but it is what it is. We walked too many but it’s not too discouraging. The kids’ attitudes were great, I saw some things I really liked and we’ll build on those things.”

Napavine (0-1) travels to Stevenson on Thursday for a 4 p.m. matchup.

Cards Shutout by Chinooks

Aiden Freitas and Aiden Eitel collected Winlock’s only two hits as the Cardinals were shutout, 12-0, on the road by Kalama on opening day for both teams on Tuesday.

Mekhi Morlin worked three innings on the mound for the Cards, making only two bad pitches, Winlock coach Jordan Nailon said. Unfortunately, they were back-to-back, a double to Tommy Brandenburg in the first inning followed by a homerun by Keaton Fisher that nearly took out a bald eagle. The Chinooks scored all their runs on five hits.

Payton Sickles played well behind the plate, catching for three different pitchers for the first time ever. Kyle Aikin took a fastball to his elbow in his first career at-bat at any level of baseball, Nailon said, who also praised Freitas for his performance on third base.

“He's a senior and showed out guys how to compete by bellying out for a baseball in foul territory while one of our pitchers was struggling,” Nailon said. “That sort of effort pumps a pitcher up because you can see that our guys are going to work for them.

Payton Sickles looked good behind the dish even as he caught three different pitchers for the first time ever.

Batteries: Winlock — Mekhi Morlin, Julius Jacobs (3), Sam Howden (4) and Payton Sickles. Kalama — Ryan Cooney, Noah Imboden (4), Dawson Dunn (5) and Todd Tabor.

Winlock (0-1) gets back into action Thursday when it hosts Adna (0-1).

Vikings Hunt Elks

A day after getting rain-delayed, Mossyrock put it all together for a 10-1 win over Lake Quinault in Tuesday’s season opener at home.

Gunner Mulligan and Easton Kolb combined for 13 strikeouts and just one run on the mound with Aiden Weist and Jake Comer behind the plate.

“I was proud of our pitchers,” Mossyrock coach Darren Kolb said.

Weist was equally effective at the plate, going 3-for-4 with two RBIs and one double. Tryn Thompson was 2-for-4 with two RBIs and two doubles, while Matteo Mendoza went 2-for-4 with one RBI. Keegan Kolb was 1-for-3 with one RBI and one double, Comer was 1-for-2 with an RBI and Easton Kolb was also 1-for-2.

I was proud of the way they came out ready to play,” Kolb said. “We had 11 hits but we are still a little rusty. Zackary Munoz had some nice catches in the outfield; he really covers ground well. 

This is the first baseball season for the Vikings after dropping down to Class 1B. Mossyrock travels to Oakville Thursday.

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