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Forner’s grand slam keys Camas baseball’s win over Battle Ground

Back-to-back 4A GSHL champs show they’re still a force

By Micah Rice, Columbian Sports Editor
Published: April 11, 2024, 8:29pm
5 Photos
Camas outfielder Jared Forner hits a grand slam home run against Battle Ground in the second inning of a 4A Greater St. Helens League baseball game on Thursday, April 11, 2024 at Camas High School.
Camas outfielder Jared Forner hits a grand slam home run against Battle Ground in the second inning of a 4A Greater St. Helens League baseball game on Thursday, April 11, 2024 at Camas High School. (Micah Rice/The Columbian). Photo Gallery

With the bases loaded and nobody out, Jared Forner just hoped to drive in a run.

A simple approach. A big result.

Forner hit a grand slam to key a seven-run second inning as Camas beat Battle Ground 12-2 on Thursday at Camas High School.

Forner’s first ever grand slam was part of a 3 for 3 day at the plate for the No. 9 hitter in the Papermakers batting order.

“I was just trying to put a ball to score a run from third,” Forner said. “I got an inside pitch, got ahold of it and it left the yard.”

Jared Forner hit a grand slam and Diego Trujillo pitched all five innings as Camas baseball beat Battle Ground 12-2. After dropping the first two games of the series, the win showing the back-to-back league champ Papermakers are still a force in the 4A Greater St. Helens League. Video

After Forner’s drive cleared the right-field fence, Camas ballplayers spilled out of the dugout to mob the junior outfielder. It gave Camas a 6-0 lead and continued a big inning that started with Hayden Ollmann’s solo homer to left-center.

“It was electric,” Forner said. “It was the best moment, running around and seeing them all hyped. It kept the momentum going for the rest of the game.”

That was all the run support Camas pitcher Diego Trujillo needed. The right-hander allowed just five hits over five innings, striking out four and walking none.

“The curveball was working today,” Trujillo said. “Coach (Stephen) Short told me to not try and overpower anyone. They’re a good team and can really stick the ball. But I stayed in the zone.”

The only Battle Ground hitter to inflict damage on Trujillo’s earned-run average was the player who drew half-dozen major league scouts to Thursday’s game. Jackson Hotchkiss blasted a two-run homer in the third inning, showing why the senior outfielder is among the top prospects in Washington.

Battle Ground (8-3, 2-1) took the first two games of the league-opening series by one run. That Camas (8-5, 1-2) won the finale via the 10-run mercy rule shows how competitive the 4A Greater St. Helens League could be this season.

Camas has won back-to-back league titles but is trying to replace key players who graduated, including All-Region player of the year Max Fraser.

“I think this was a huge win for us,” Trujillo said. “I think we’re coming into this season as underdogs.”

Just like the approach that led to his grand slam, Forner said Camas will succeed if hitters do whatever necessary to score runs.

That was on display Thursday as all nine batters in the Camas lineup got at least one base hit.

“I’d say we need to play as a team and play together,” Forner said. “You’ve seen it today with these team at bats, not worrying about you and your stats.

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