SAMMAMISH — Two staples the Camas baseball team this season — pitching and defense — abandoned the Papermakers on Saturday.
But with the way Kamiakin’s Landon Welker was pitching, really only the Papermakers’ first miscue was all that mattered.
Welker held Camas to just an infield single over 6.2 innings, striking out 12, as the Braves from Kennewick beat Camas 5-0 in a Class 4A state tournament game at Eastlake High School.
“It was probably the best pitching performance we faced this year,” Camas coach Stephen Short said. “And that’s uncharacteric for us. We usually do a good job of putting balls in play.”
And while Welker was keeping Camas hitters off-balance, the Papermakers found themselves in an early hole.
A two-base error on a single to the outfield led to Kamiakin’s first run, and the Braves added two more runs to go up 3-0 after one.
That lead seemed bigger with how Welker was pitching. Camas only got one batter in scoring position all game.
Camas ace pitcher Max Fraser was knocked out with no outs in the fourth, and another two-base error then plated two more for Kamiakin. Camas committed five errors on the afternoon.
It all left a sour taste in the mouth of Short after a season that started with such lofty expectations.
“This was a group that when they came in as freshman, we saw very quickly the level talent they had,” Short said. “We had aspirations of being a state championship-caliber team.”
That didn’t happen for Camas, but Short was still proud of what the Papermakers were able to accomplish, including back-to-back 4A Greater St. Helens League championships and sending several players to college programs.
“We won a lot of baseball games and done some historic things in our program,” Short said. “We’ve established, over the last couple of years, a name for Camas baseball in the state. That’s something they should be proud of.”
KAMIAKIN 5, CAMAS 0
Camas 000 000 0—0 1 5
Kam. 300 200 x—5 7 0
Pitching — Max Fraser 3 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 1 K, 2 BB, loss; Ryan McClaskey 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 3 K, 2 BB. Highlight — Holt Williams 1-3.
Pitching — Landon Welker 6.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 12 K, 2 BB, win; Tommy Lamb 0.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 K, 0 BB. Highlights — Cade Carter 2-4, run; Carter Poland 1-3, RBI; Landon Welter 3-4, Trent Woodhouse 1-3, RBI.