Nakano’s walk-off double lifts Adna over Toutle Lake


ADNA —  With two outs in the bottom of the eighth, Adna’s Ty Bodenhamer dribbled a grounder to short. As Toutle Lake’s Connor Cox fielded the ball and began to throw to first, a ninth inning seemed inevitable.

The Ducks and Pirates had been battling in a low-scoring affair all day, and the end of the deadlock was nowhere in sight.

That was until Cox’s throw sailed high, and Bodenhamer advanced to second. Three pitches later, Cameron Nakano sent a drive to the right-center field gap, a walk-off double that capped off a 4-3 Adna win.

As Nakano was mobbed by his teammates on the third-base line, he thought back to last spring, when the Pirates rattled off win after win to advance deep into the postseason.

“It took me back to the championship, about how we kept going and going,” Nakano said. “Just like our way up there. Once we start rolling, we’re unstoppable.”

The Pirates (12-2, 12-1 C2BL) were already rolling heading into Wednesday’s matchup, having won their previous 10 games, and now they sit alone atop the C2BL standings. Both the Ducks and Pirates sat at 11-1 in league play coming into the game, and both teams put their best foot forward.

After allowing two runs in the first, Tristan Percival settled in on the mound for Adna. He pitched into the sixth inning, allowing just four hits and three runs (two earned) while walking five and striking out 10.

Zach Swanson had a very similar outing for Toutle Lake, making it into the seventh while walking five and striking out 13. In front of a crowd of scouts, Swanson was consistently into the 90s, and at times, the Pirates couldn’t catch up to it.

“It’s a completely different challenge,” Danner Hoinowski said. “I like having a new challenge, and I think most of our team does.”

The Pirates were able to get to Swanson in the second, scoring three runs on a sacrifice bunt, a single, and a wild pitch. Outside of the second, Adna didn’t score again until Nakano’s winner.

“A mixed bag,” Hoinowski said. “But we came through in the end.”

While the Adna offense was stagnant, Hoinowski kept the Pirates in the game. He came in for Percival in the sixth, and after a wild pitch in the sixth allowed the Ducks to tie the game, he shut them down.

Toutle Lake’s best chance came in the eighth, when a triple, a hit batter, and an intentional walk loaded the bases with two outs. Hoinowski stranded all three runners, striking out the next batter on four pitches.

“I knew I just had to hold the score until my teammates could score,” Hoinowski said. “The only way out of that is to throw strikes.”

Adna coach Jake Overbay was fired up when talking about his pitchers after the win, saying that no matter who he has turned to on the mound this season, they’ve come through.

“Anybody that’s been coming in, they’ve been doing their job of stepping up and throwing strikes,” Overbay said. “Danner really came up big today.”

Overbay, who is in his first year as the coach at Adna, wasn’t in the dugout when these two teams met last in the state semifinal last spring, but he knew the importance of this matchup coming in.

“It was really fun to come into a league game almost feeling like it's a state game,” Overbay said. “A lot of fun to see the boys come out strong and play the game we planned.”

Adna won’t get to celebrate for long, though, as they’ll have to head south for the second game of the series on Wednesday. 

A win would put them two games up in the C2BL standings with just two games remaining in the regular season. A Toutle Lake win would leave the Ducks and Pirates tied again at the top.

“Today was huge, just to get that momentum,” Overbay said. “The boy's energy is gonna be tough to beat tomorrow.”