The W.F. West baseball was down to its final out Saturday in Ridgefield, one away from its second loss in as many days at the RORC, but came through in the clutch to walk off 4-3 winners over North Kitsap.
Going into the bottom of the seventh trailing 3-2, Avery Staloch got the line moving with a double. Isaiah Nachatilo-Smetz ran for him and went to third on a Lane Sahlin single, putting the tying run 90 feet away.
After a strikeout put two outs on the board, the lineup card flipped back to the top, and the Vikings elected to intentionally walk Deacon Meller, who had already hit one home run on the day. That put the winning run on second and put the game on Braden Jones’ bat, and the junior came through, driving the first pitch he saw back up the middle and scoring Nachatilo-Smetz and Sahlin to send the Bearcats home happy.
“Overall as a team, I feel like we could use this win to really take off,” WFW skipper Jesse Elam said. “We were able to put more pressure on their defense today than we had previously.”
Jones finished the day 2 for 3 with three RBIs, also hitting an RBI single in the bottom of the third.
On the hill, the Bearcats went with Connor Coleman, who worked around four walks and an error behind him to go three innings, allowing two runs — one earned — on one hit. In the fourth, Elam gave the ball back to Riggs Westlund for his second outing in two days, and the senior gave him four innings of long relief, striking out six and giving up one run.
“Both Coleman and Westlund threw great,” Elam said. “They both worked out of some very tough situations and showed a lot of grit.”
W.F. West will jump into 2A EvCo play next, heading to Rochester on Tuesday for the first of two games in two days against the Warriors.