CAMAS — Good baseball teams win in the postseason with pitching and defense.
The Camas Papermakers added a dash of early offense to propel them in the state playoff.
Camas put five runs on the board in the first inning en route to a 9-3 win over Sumner in a 4A bi-district playoff game Saturday, clinching a berth into the regional round of state for the Papermakers.
“Getting five early today was huge,” Camas coach Stephen Short said. “Even if it’s just one or two, we’re pretty good when we’re the first team to score.”
Zach Blair and Drew Hancock got the Papermakers going in the first with consecutive walks. Holt Williams reached on an error, scoring Blair, then Boston Jensen’s two-run single and Andrew Sung’s RBI double did the big damage in the first inning.
“I think we just came out aggressive, knowing there were some pretty good pitches in the zone,” said Blair, who went 2 for 3 with a double and a triple. “So we just came out swinging and got the job done.”
Aaron Sung went 2 for 2 with two doubles for Camas, who added two runs in the second and another run in the third.
“I think continuing to score also was a key,” Short said. “It looked like it was going to be a pretty offensive game after (Sumner) scored two in the second. Five might not be enough. But I was proud of the guys for competing for a full seven innings.”
The Papermakers needed to compete as Sumner did not go away. But a couple of big plays to end the top of the fourth and fifth innings helped sealed the win for Camas.
With one out after a leadoff walk in the fourth, Sumner’s Jay Mentink hit a bloop into a right that looked like it might fall for a hit. But Tyler Stewart made a sliding catch and then doubled the runner off first to end the threat.
Sumner got two on with two out after scoring a run in the fifth, but Max Fraser got a called third strike on a 3-2 pitch to end that threat.
“Our pitching has been really good; our defense has been really good,” Blair said. “I think our defense has bee really great of late.”
Short said: “We definitely had some big momentum plays today.”
Fraser held a potent Sumner lineup to three runs on seven hits and struck out eight. Ethan Hubbell came to throw two hitless innings of relief.
Camas will play Puyallup in the bi-district semifinals next Saturday at Kent Meridian High School.
“Getting the No. 1 seed from league and then winning the first game at bi-district is huge,” Short said. “It will be tough to win the bi-district tournament, but it feels good to be in the big one — the state tournament.”
CAMAS 9, SUMNER 3
Sumner 020 010 0—3 7 1
Camas 521 010 x—9 8 0
Pitching – Elijah Higginbottom 0.1 IP, 2 H, 3 ER, 0 K, 2 BB; Joey Kosko 3.2 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 5 K, 4 BB; Tyler Anderson 2 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 2 K, 1 BB. Highlights – Aden Dance 1-3, RBI; Mason Kelley 1-4, run; Jake Gallagher 1-4, 2B, RBI; Jake Bresnahan 2-2, run; Davis Jaquez 1-3, run; Bradley Carl 1-2, RBI.
Pitching – Max Fraser 5 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 8 K, 4 BB; Ethan Hubbell 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 K, 1 BB. Highlights – Zach Blair 2-3, 2 runs, 2B, 3B, RBI; Drew Hancock 1-3, 2B; Holt Williams 1-4; Boston Jensen 1-3, run, 3 RBI; Aaron Sung 2-2, run, 2 2B, RBI; Tyler Stewart 1-4.