Senior Benito Valencia smacked a go-ahead two-run single in the fourth inning to help Centralia complete an 8-3 come-from-behind victory over Rochester at home on Wednesday in 2A Evergreen Conference action.
The Tigers improve to 4-1 and won their second straight, fueled by an impressive hitting performance against Rochester’s tough ace, Tony Groninger. The Tigers collected 11 hits off Groninger, who struck out six in 5.2 innings. Centralia was led offensively by Bayden Teitzel and Paris Chavez, who each had a game-high three hits. Valencia and Noah Aliff each added two RBIs.
“Hitting is contagious,” Rochester coach Adam Riffe said. “We put the ball in play, they made a couple mistakes and we took advantage… we started hitting the ball to the opposite field.”
Landen Jenkins continued his impressive freshman campaign for the Tigers, striking out seven batters in six innings with a 1.33 WHIP and 16 first-pitch strikes.
For Rochester, which was hampered by six errors on defense, Tate Quarnstrom collected two hits at the plate while Kyle Wilson drove in one run and Groninger, Lucas Decker and Ledger Anderson all had one hit.
Rochester (2-3, 1-3 2A EvCo) hosts Aberdeen at 4:30 p.m. on Friday. Centralia (4-1, 3-1 2A EvCo) hosts W.F. West on Friday.
In a rematch of a 2019 1A District IV opening-round matchup, where Tenino was edged 10-9, the Beavers lost a bit more handedly this time, falling 13-2 to La Center on Wednesday at the Regional Athletic Complex in Lacey.
Tenino coach Ryan Schlesser remembered quite a few names on the Wildcats’ roster Wednesday that were also on that 2019 team — and it showed. La Center pounded out 10 hits and scored in every inning but the sixth to hand winless Tenino its fourth-straight loss this season.
“They’re actually pretty good,” Schlesser said. “When we get guys on, we don’t take full advantage of it.”
Tenino scattered six hits on the day but wasn't able to string enough together to put substantial runs on the board. Kellen Knox led the Beavers at the plate going 2-for-3, while Kaden Sayamnet and Carson Hart each drove in a run.
On the mound, Brody Noonan struck out three batters in three innings, Easton Snider fanned two in 3.2 innings and Carston Hart pitched the final out in the seventh. Schlesser said it was encouraging to play a full seven innings after getting 10-runned in their previous three games.
“It was nice to see today,” Schlesser said. “A couple games we shot ourselves in the foot.”
Tenino (0-4) returns to play on April 16 when it travels to Olympic Stadium in Hoquiam to take on the Grizzlies.