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Loggers go out short of state
MOUNTLAKE TERRACE The Darrington Loggers easily beat the Ocasta Wildcats 13-4 to advance to the regional finals game May 19, but a tougher White Pass team executed better in the days second game, said Logger coach Gibran Smith.
Offensively, we just hit a lot of balls right at them, Smith said, adding, When wed get a hit, it seemed like we had two outs.
The Panthers defeated the Loggers 6-1 to advance to the state tournament in Yakima and heralded the end of Darringtons season.
Darrington quickly found a winning formula against Ocasta, combining strong pitching from southpaw Skye Schillhammer with some early bats. On the mound, Schillhammer had 10 strikeouts and allowed just one walk.
The first four batters in the Darrington rotation catcher Justin ODell, Schillhammer, shortstop Brennan Vincent and fielder Mark Jones came up to the plate 18 times. Sixteen times, they made it to first base. Eleven times, they converted.
For ODell, it wasnt all about hits.
He doesnt have the highest batting average, Smith said. He just has a knack for getting on base.
Against the Wildcats, that came to four walks and a single in five turns at bat. Thanks to ODells talent, Schillhammer batted him in three times in the first game, twice off doubles.
ODells fourth run came from a fifth-inning single by Jones, who had two runs and four RBIs in the game.
Despite all the offense produced in the top of the lineup, Smith said the spark for the Loggers firepower was an early second-inning home run by senior first baseman Andy Olsen.
Andy was really slumping. He was 2-for-35, I think, at one point. For the last four games though, he was 9-for-13, Smith said. He got hot at the end of the year. Most kids would get frustrated.
Frustration was the only word to describe the Loggers loss to White Pass. One game away from a state appearance and high on their victory just an hour earlier, Darrington must have felt like they had momentum on their side.
But Darrington was unable to find as much success in their first game strengths during the second game.
I wouldnt say we played bad. They had a pitcher that played pretty well, Smith said later, reflecting on the game. Mark Jones, our starting pitcher, had some control problems. But then I give them credit for hitting some tough pitches.
The game remained bottled up through the first two innings until Panther third baseman Shane DeWolfe exploded with a two-RBI double in the third. The score became 3-0 when outfielder Chris Gillespie hit a homer off a Jones pitch.
Senior shortstop Brennan Vincent went in at pitcher after two more players walked, but the next batter, Panther C.J. VanHorn, made Darrington pay, hitting a two-RBI triple to make it 5-0. A sacrifice fly in the next at bat was all White Pass needed.
ODell scored Darringtons lone run in the seventh inning.
The Loggers lose Olsen, Vincent and second baseman Joey Haywood to graduation.
At Mountlake Terrace H.S.
Ocasta 0 0 2 0 0 2 0 4
Darrington 2 5 0 3 2 1 x 13
At Mountlake Terrace H.S.
Darrington 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1
White Pass 0 0 2 4 0 0 x 6