AA Awesome Trailblazers slug their way past Centralia


It didn’t take Hirota Smaciarz long to get on base on Thursday.

On the first pitch of Awesome Chevrolet’s matchup against Centralia, Smaciarz’s first game back after missing the Brian Cox Memorial Tournament this past weekend, he dropped a bunt single to third.

It wasn’t a big swing of the bat, but it kickstarted an early Trailblazer flurry, one where they scored five runs in the first two innings to open up a lead, including a RBI triple from Smaciarz in his second at-bat.

“It seems to relax the whole team,” Awesome Chevrolet coach Chris McCallum said of having Smaciarz atop the lineup.

The Trailblazers never looked back on Thursday, adding seven more runs in the middle innings en route to a 12-3 win over Centralia. It’s Awesome Chevrolet’s second win over Centralia this week, as the Trailblazers took Sunday’s matchup 10-0.

As the score would indicate, Smaciarz was far from the only Trailblazer to have success at the plate.

Four other Trailblazers recorded multi-hit games, including Luke McMillan, who broke the game open with a three-run triple in the fourth, and Race Rockey, who went 3 for 3 and scored twice.

“It’s amazing how hitting is contagious when you get a leadoff guy that just lights a fire under you,” McCallum said.”

It was more than enough run support for Hayden Rooney, who allowed just one hit and three unearned runs in six innings on the bump.

Rooney was extremely efficient despite five errors behind him, as he needed just 85 pitches to strike out nine and get through six.

“Hayden threw really well,” McCallum said. “When his offspeed stuff is on, he’s really tough. It was great to see him come out and have the outing that he did. It was good to get that out of him.”

Rooney was able to freeze Centralia hitters consistently early on, as five of the first six batters he struck out went down looking.

“It’s definitely hard to play from behind when you do that,” Centralia coach Jake LeDuc said. “We didn’t give ourselves a chance early.”

Despite the final score, there were some things LeDuc was pleased with.

Rocco Waring, who LeDuc noted hasn’t played baseball in a few years, came in out of the bullpen in the fifth, and he threw three strong innings. He also noted that 32 of the 45 pitches he threw were strikes, which gave the defense chances to make plays behind him.

After a triple in the fourth, Colton Weiss hit a 1-2 pitch to the right side to bring the runner home.

“Those are the little things we need to do over and over again,” LeDuc said. “That’s what our summer, for me, is all about. It’s that development.”

Both teams will be back in action on the road on Monday, as Centralia will head to Montesano and Awesome Chevrolet will travel north to face Aberdeen.