WINLOCK — Fourth of July came early to Winlock.
Rural Baseball put on a firework show offensively as the Dirtbags blasted Camas 15-4 in a five-inning, 10-run-rule victory Monday night in Senior Legion play.
It was a redeeming victory for the Dirtbags who were coming off a road weekend where they went 1-3 across two doubleheaders. Rural Baseball rebounded by smacking 11 hits against Camas Monday in an offensive assault fueled by timely hitting.
“We found out good things happen a lot more often when you can get the ball in play,” Rural Baseball coach Jordan Nailon said. “So I was proud of the guys for their approach tonight. They didn’t go chasing pitches, knew what they were looking for and were able to barrel up some baseballs in clutch situations.”
Chase Staup led the charge offensively for the Dirtbags, going 3-for-4 with three runs, two RBIs, a triple and stole home. Mckhi Morlin went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs, while Jesse Towns was 2-for-3 with two runs and an RBI.
“He really knows his swing,” Nailon said of Staup. “He knows who he is. He really works his hands and hips really well. It’s a very Derek Jeter-esque swing. He just hits the ball really hard to the right side of second base a lot.”
Pitcher Mateo Vodjansky, a soon-to-be senior at Toledo High School, went the distance on the mound, giving up three earned runs, striking out two and walking seven across five innings for the win.
“Mateo is very effective on the mound,” Nailon said. “He keeps the ball down really well. Everything has a lot of slice out of his hand. That’s the most work he’s had on the mound in a couple years.”
Camas got on the board first with a run in the top of the first, but Rural came firing back when Staup stole home in the bottom of the first. Rural took the lead for good with a four-run second inning, spearheaded by Staup torching Camas’ left fielder for a two-run triple. Morlin followed that up with an RBI single, and later scored himself to make it 5-1 after Kyuss Mano was nearly caught in a pickle between first and second bases.
Camas notched single runs in the third and fourth innings to narrow Rural’s lead to 5-3. It woke the bear. Rural Baseball answered with a 10-run fourth inning that put the game away for good.
“We just had their pitcher really uncomfortable,” Nailon said. “I was really liking the way we were running the bases and staying aggressive. It wasn’t a blowout at that point, so we still had to have our foot down on the pedal.”
Fifteen Dirtbags batted in the inning, beginning with Towns’ and Staup’s leadoff singles. Morlin knocked in Towns and reached on an error to make it 6-3. Mano walked to load the bases and Ben Woodrum tallied an RBI single to bring Staup. Vodjansky blasted a two-run single to make it 9-3, then Woodrum and pinch runner Jack Boothe both scored on overthrows by Camas to bring the score to 11-3.
The Dirtbags weren’t finished yet.
Chris Heikkila walked and J.C. Workman reached on an error to set up Jackson Hull’s two-run double, bringing it to 13-3. Towns followed up with an RBI single and Morlin capped the inning off with an RBI double to give Rural Baseball a 15-3 lead.
Vodjanksy gave up one earned run in the top of the fifth before forcing two groundouts and striking one batter out to end the game.
Rural Baseball plays next at the Twin Cities Freedom Eagle Tournament in Chehalis at Stan Hedwall Park on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Friday, June 26
ASTORIA — The Dirtbags jumped out to a 2-0 lead in game one through three-plus innings before Hilander Dental took the lead for good in the fourth frame with a three-run fourth inning. Kyuss Mano and Mateo Vodjansky each notched doubles for Rural Baseball in the loss. Chris Heikkila, Jackson Hull and Morlin all added base hits. Highlander Dental erupted for a 15-0 win in game two over Rural Baseball
Saturday, June 27
WESTPORT — Rural Baseball broke out the bats in game one, defeating Ocosta 11-1 in the front end of a doubleheader. Chase Staup threw a complete game with five strikeouts for the Dirtbags while tallying four hits himself at the plate. Jesse Towns added a pair of hits and runs.
Rural Baseball held onto the lead for four and a half innings in game two before Ocosta knocked in four runs in the bottom of the sixth to steal the momentum. Matt Kurzeika tossed the first five innings for the Dirtbags, striking out five. Jesse Towns and Mckhi Morlin each tallied two hits a piece.