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VHS baseball faces top opponents with mixed success
Pirates defeat Cowboys
In a key matchup of league opponents, the Vashon Pirate baseball team defeated the Orting Cowboys, 6-4, on Monday, April 18.
Orting struck quickly in the bottom of the first, scoring three runs off of starting Pirates pitcher Julian Smith. The visiting Pirates crossed the plate twice in the top of the third as both Ben Reoux (1-2) and Zack Drape (2-4) singled, followed by an RBI double by Smith (3-4). Orting added one in the bottom of the fourth to take a 4-2 lead.
In the top of the fifth, Drape singled to right, worked his way to third base and then then scored on a sacrifice fly by Peter Johnson (1-2). Next Smith singled to left, Tyler Bernheisel drew a base-on-balls and Matt Dick (2-4) singled scoring Smith.
With the score knotted at 4-4, Smith held the Cowboys scoreless in the bottom of the fifth and sixth innings. The Pirates added one in the top of the sixth and one in the seventh to take a 6-4 lead.
Bernheisel relieved Smith in the bottom of the seventh to seal the win for the Pirates. Smith pitched a solid game, and the Pirates played nearly perfect defense anchored by outstanding plays by Reoux and Johnson.
Line score: Vashon 6 runs, 9 hits, 1 error, Orting 4 runs, 8 hits, 3 errors.
Cougars down Pirates
The next day the Pirates took on powerhouse Cascade Christian at Tacoma Community College. With Erik Powelson going the distance on the mound for Vashon, the Cougars scored two in the bottom of the second and two in the third aided by three errors by the Pirates defense.
Coming off the big win at Orting, the Pirates weren’t crisp, but the team kept pressing forward. The Pirates scored one run in the top of the third on aggressive base running by Johnson and Drape. Down 4-1, the Pirates ran Cascade’s best pitcher from the game, scoring four runs in the fifth to take a 5-4 lead.
The Cougars immediately responded, knotting the game 5-5 in the bottom of the frame. Unfortunately, the Pirates could not score any runs in the final two innings to match the four spot put up by Cascade in the bottom of the sixth. Smith, Dick, Ezra Lacina and Reoux collected Vashon’s four hits, and the Cougars won the game, 9-5.
Line score: Cascade Christian 9 runs 11 hits, 1 error, Vashon 5 runs, 4 hits, 4 errors.
Tarriers defeat Pirates in tight pitching duel
On Thursday, April 21, the Pirates traveled to Charles Wright Academy for a key Nisqually League matchup. With the best pitcher on the mound for both teams, Vashon knew it would be a low-scoring game and that they would have to play nearly perfect ball. Unfortunately for the Pirates, the breaks didn’t go their way.
As both pitchers cruised through the opposing team’s lineup, the Pirates had several opportunities to score, but couldn’t generate a key hit, thanks in part to Nate Mondou, the Tarrier pitcher.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, the leadoff batter for Charles Wright drew a walk. The next batter reached base on a Pirates fielding error. With two on, the Charles Wright batter drove a pitch into the left center field gap for a triple, scoring two.
That was all the Tarriers needed as they took the win, 2-0, to split the season series with the Pirates. Tyler Bernheisel went the distance on the mound for Vashon allowing just five hits, one earned run, and striking out seven batters. Leading the hitting once again for the Pirates was Smith, who was 2-4 on the day.
Line score: Charles Wright 2 runs, 5 hits, 4 errors, Vashon 0 runs, 4 hits, 2 errors.
The loss drops the Pirates season record to 4-5, and their league record was even at 3-3 as they entered a busy week on Monday, with games scheduled daily until Friday.
— Jeff Johnson is the father of a Pirates baseball player.