The Mountain View baseball team, with three returning varsity players on the roster, has completed the first round of the Class 3A Greater St. Helens League schedule undefeated.
J.T. Kaul struck out nine in six innings of work, and seven Thunder each picked up one hit in a 7-2 victory Friday over Columbia River.
The Thunder go into spring break with a 5-0 mark, with 10 league games to play. Columbia River fell to 3-2.
Kaul called it a bonus to be picking up all these victories so soon.
"It was good to just get these guys some varsity experience," he said, looking at his teammates. "This feels good. We're playing together as a team."
Mountain View coach Aaron Coiteux agreed with that assessment.
"The kids bought in, and they're playing well. That's it," he said. "They're playing as a team, not individuals."
Friday's boxscore showed just that.
Dakody Clemmer hit a sacrifice fly in the second inning for a 1-0 Thunder advantage. Mountain View broke it open with five consecutive hits in the fourth inning.
Andrew Krafve got it started with a solo home run.
"I feel like I'm on top of the world almost," he said of his second career homer. "It's unbelievable."
Alex Smith, Nolan Biggs, Kaul, and Clemmer followed with singles. Biggs and Clemmer each drove in a run, and another run scored during a botched run-down play to make it 5-0.
The Thunder would add two more in the fifth inning off of two Columbia River errors.
Kaul cruised through the first five innings on the mound.
"The first couple of innings I felt really strong, with great command," Kaul said, crediting catcher Greg Ryan for his decision-making. "It was a just a great flow. We were reading each other's minds. Thankfully, we got some really good hitters out."
Columbia River got to Kaul in the sixth. Bryson Oury hit a two-out, two-run single to make it 7-2. Kaul, though, would strike out the next batter to get out of the jam.
Stars of the day
BASEBALL: Patrick Thorpe pitched eight innings for the win with seven strikeouts and drove in two runs as Evergreen topped Battle Ground 3-2 in nine innings.
SOCCER: Liam Knoeppel scored a goal and assisted on Tanner Konkright's score as Ridgefield beat White Salmon 2-0.
BASEBALL: Ian Hamilton struck out 10 and gave up just one run over six strong innings, helping Skyview beat Heritage 4-1 and improve to 5-0 in the 4A Greater St. Helens League.
BASEBALL: Seaver Whalen went 3 for 4 with a double, run and two RBI, and Union scored five runs in the fifth to beat Camas, 9-2.