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Jan. 16, 2022

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Battle Ground baseball still controls own fate

Tigers turn game vs. Union into rout, winning 12-2

By , Columbian High School Sports Reporter

The Class 4A Greater St. Helens League baseball standings, at this point, cannot give a clear picture.

The schedule, at this point, has just made it too difficult for much of a forecast.

The Battle Ground Tigers have decided to only concern themselves with things that they can control.

It is not their fault they had only played three league games coming into Monday’s game against Union. The Titans, on the other hand, already had six leagues games in the books.

“Come out, grind, and just play our game,” Battle Ground catcher Gunner Talkington said. “That’s not dependent on the weather. We just have to come out and play our game.”

Monday, the Tigers really got their game going their way in the top of the sixth inning, sending 14 batters to the plate in a 10-run outburst. A close game turned into the mercy rule with Battle Ground recording a 12-2 victory over the Titans in six.

Kalau Higgins opened the sixth with an infield single and later had a two-run double to highlight the big frame. He had a lot of help, too. The first 10 batters reached safely as the Tigers picked up five hits, four walks, and took advantage of an error.

The Tigers improved to 2-2 in league, while Union fell to 2-5.

That .500 record might not look like much, but the two losses have come against first-place Skyview. The Tigers also beat state powers Puyallup and Southridge in non-league play, so they are not worried just now.

“We lost a couple early. We’re going to bounce back from it,” said Talkington, who had a two-run single in the sixth inning and also picked off a runner at second base, back when the game was still close.

“There’s no room for error, but we kind of control our own stuff still,” Battle Ground coach Billy Hayes said.

He, like many baseball coaches in the region, said he thinks his team will be just fine if games can get played. Weather on Monday was hit-and-miss for the area. Many games were called. This one was in jeopardy earlier in the afternoon as radar suggested a bunch of rain was heading toward Union High School.

Both coaches agreed to take the chance, though, and it barely sprinkled for a couple of innings.

The Tigers got two runs in the second inning on a Union error and wild pitch.

The Titans tied the game in the fifth with four hits, including a run-scoring double from Jordan Donohue and a run-scoring single from Grant Dedrick-Malcolm.

Then it turned into a rout for Battle Ground in the sixth. Higgins, Talkington, Nicholas Mukensnabl, Vincent McCormic, Austin Adams, and Brian Nikolas each drove in at least one run in the frame.

“Everyone was all ‘giddy-up’ and everything,” Talkington said. “We were really happy to get that ‘dub’ and hopefully there are more to come.”

Hayes noted he expects his Tigers to be in every contest this season.

“They play hard every time,” he said. “Whenever you do that, you have a chance.”


B. Ground 020 00(10)–12 10 4

Union 000 020–2 7 2

Battle Ground

Pitchers — Russell 5 IP, win, 5 Ks; Terwilliver 1 IP.

Highlights — Max Randle 3-3; Samuel McDaniel 2-2; Kalau Higgins 2-4, 2B, 2 RBI; Nicholas Mukensnabl 0-2, RBI; Vincent McCormic 0-2, RBI; Austin Adams 1-4, 2 RBI; Gunner Talkington 1-2, 2 RBI; Brian Nikolas 1-1, 2B, RBI.


Pitchers — Carter Sutton 5 IP, 5 Ks; Johnny Lee 0 IP, loss; Trevor O’Toole 0.1 IP; Alex Barrett 0.2 IP. Highlights — Jaxon Woodhouse 1-3; Sutton 1-3; Jordan Donohue 2-4, 2B, RBI; Grant Dedrick-Malcolm 1-2, RBI; Christian Brick 1-3; Bradley Grant 1-2.

Columbian High School Sports Reporter