Pirates fall to Ducks in district title game


NAPAVINE — Round 3 goes to Toutle Lake.

After splitting their regular season meetings, Adna and Toutle Lake met in the District 4 title game on Friday at Napavine.

While the Pirates had the advantage early, the Ducks rallied to take the lead, pulled away late, and handed Adna an 8-3 loss.

Adna had a tough day in the field, committing six errors, which led to five unearned Toutle Lake runs.

“Toutle’s a team that you can’t give too much,” Adna coach Jake Overbay said. “Otherwise they’ll take a lot. And that’s what they did … We just got flat.”

Adna was able to get to Zach Swanson in the first few innings, first tagging him for a run just two batters in thanks to an RBI single from Luke Mohney. In the third, the Pirates (19-4) added a pair on an RBI groundout from Danner Hoinowski and an RBI single from Beau Miller.

Two straight errors to open the third kickstarted a Toutle Lake rally, one where the Ducks scored four runs to take their first lead of the day.

After two scoreless innings, the Pirates worked three straight two-out walks in the sixth to get Swanson over the pitch count limit, but they left the bases loaded.

“I love their heart,” Overbay said. “I really do love their passion for the game. I just wish we didn’t lose our energy in the middle innings.”

Hoinowski, who started the game for Adna on the bump, hit the pitch count limit in the bottom of the sixth, and he left the game to an ovation from the Pirate fans.

Hoinowski pitched five-plus innings, giving up five hits and six runs, but just two of those runs were earned, and he struck out six without walking a single batter.

“Danner has really stepped up as a team leader,” Overbay said. “He stepped up and embraced the role of starting today … He did exceptionally well and kept us in the game as long as he could.”

After Hoinowski exited, an error and two Toutle Lake singles brought home four runs, and Toutle Lake’s Dylan Fraidenburg shut the door in the seventh, giving the Ducks their second-straight district title and third in the last four years.

The Pirates will find out their seed for the state tournament on Sunday, and Overbay is hopeful that they’ll land in the top four. A top-4 seed would give the Pirates a first-round bye, while five through eight would mean that they would host an opening round matchup on Tuesday.

Regardless of their seed, the Pirates can always think back to last spring, when they made a run to the state title game, including a win over Toutle Lake in the semifinals, as the No. 11 seed.

“Hopefully they reflect really quickly and get over it,” Overbay said. “We move on and get ready for playoff baseball. It’s right back to work.”