Demarest twirls a gem to lift Tigers over T-Wolves


NAPAVINE — It wasn’t the cleanest beginning for Ashton Demarest.

After he walked Brecken Pelletier to begin the game, Kris Elliott knocked a single into right, giving Morton-White Pass runners on the corners with no one out.

Demarest immediately settled in, however, retiring 19 of the final 22 batters he faced to lead Napavine to an 8-0 win.

“He came out and threw strikes,” Napavine coach Brian Demarest said. “That’s what we needed him to do. When he throws strikes, we’re okay.”

After the first two batters reached, the younger Demarest was in complete control on the mound. He allowed one more hit, walked two, and struck out 14.

“He does a really good job of locating and keeping people off balance,” Morton-White Pass coach Lee Metcalf said. “He’s a tough matchup, and that showed today.”

When the Timberwolves (0-7, 0-7 C2BL) were able to put the ball in play, the Napavine (6-3, 6-3 C2BL) defense went to work. The Tigers committed just one error on the day, something that coach Demarest was pleased to see.

Offensively, the Tigers did most of their damage in the second and third inning, where they scored seven of their eight runs.

A bloop single from Silas Bissonette plated the first run of the game, and Demarest followed with an RBI groundout before the third run scored on an error.

Grady Wilson sparked the rally in the third, bringing home a run on an RBI single before a fielder’s choice and another error brought home three more.

In total, the Timberwolves committed six errors on the day. There were flashes of excellent defensive play, though.

In the bottom of the fourth, right fielder Gus Greiter, center fielder Michael Biacan, and first baseman Keaton Thompson made three straight running catches on fly balls. Thompson’s catch came right up against the fence in foul territory.

“We’re getting there,” Metcalf said. “We’re just focusing on getting better every week … I’m seeing the improvement I like to see, and we’ll get there. Just gotta keep plugging away.”

Thompson made his way over to first after throwing the first inning and a third on the mound, allowing just one hit and one run, but Metcalf pulled him to keep him available for Tuesday’s rematch against Napavine.

“I thought he was really effective and threw the ball well,” Metcalf said. “He’ll go a little deeper tomorrow.”

On Tuesday, coach Demarest will hope that the Tigers are able to duplicate much of what they did on Monday, but he also hopes to see growth in one key area.

The Tigers didn’t run into many outs on the basepaths on Monday, outside of an inning-ending 6-3-5 double play in the sixth, but Demarest felt that there were chances to take another base that they didn’t take advantage of.

“Hopefully, as this thing keeps going, we’ll figure out who we are and be fine,” coach Demarest said.

The two sides will play the second of their two-game set on Tuesday. After that, Napavine will play Onalaska on Friday and Saturday, and Morton-White Pass will take on Adna.