Fishermen stay red-hot

<I>DAMIAN MULINIX photo</I><BR>Ilwaco's Mooch Smith slides in under the tag of the White Pass catcher to score early in Thursday's first game.

Fishermen sweep White Pass 8-4, 6-5 for seventh straightLONG BEACH - Anthony Wirkkala's two-out walk-off double to the right centerfield fence in the bottom of the seventh inning scored Mooch Smith from second base to break a 5-5 tie against White Pass Thursday, giving the Fishermen a SWW league double-header sweep here. The victory was Ilwaco's seventh straight, a school record, and vaulted them into sole possession of third place in league.

The Fishermen won the first game, a continuation of one begun in White Pass April 23 by the score of 8-4. Nick Leonard pitched the win to up his record to 7-2, walking only one batter and striking out nine. Alex Martin was 3-4 with a 360-foot double and two RBI's.

Leonard was 2-4, two RBI, Mooch Smith was 2-4 with a double, and Anthony Wirkkala and Travis Ostgaard each slammed two hits in four trips to the plate. Paul Blaylock's bunt single on the chalk line at third base and Thomas Jenkin's single to left field also helped the Fishermen's cause in game one.

Ilwaco fell behind in game two 2-0 going into the bottom of the fifth frame. Twice the Panther outfield had thrown out runners at the plate as the Fishermen threatened in the early innings. Ostgaard led off with an infield single, moved up on Bobby Crislip's base knock, and scored when Blaylock singled to left field in the fifth. After Jarod Schaak reached on a fielder's choice Martin blasted two runs home with a drive to the left field corner to put the Fishermen up 3-2.

Not to be denied, the Panthers plated three unearned runs in the sixth inning off Ilwaco hurler, Travis Ostgaard. "Travis has had elbow problems the last couple of weeks and I hadn't counted on him throwing at all today," Coach Kevin Heimbigner said. "In warm ups he came up to me and said his elbow had popped and he could throw fine. He pitched a tremendous game and really gave us a lift. He struck out seven and only walked one guy and showed a real competitive fire."

In the Fishermen sixth Smith reached on a hit by pitch, stole second and scored on Wirkkala's double. Singles by Ostgaard and Quinn Padgett tied the contest. Ostgaard struck out the final two White Pass hitters in the top of the seventh with the potential go-ahead run perched on second base.

Martin lined out the third and Leonard smashed a ball to deep right field that their outfielder made a diving catch on. With two out Smith blasted his third hit of the game and sixth of the double-dip to left field. He promptly stole second base, the Fishermen's 12th bag of the day, setting up Wirkkala's game-winning shot to deep right center.

White Pass' coach, Kevin Gillespie, who was ejected late in the second game said, "Ilwaco deserved the wins. They really hit the ball hard all day."

For the double header Smith had six hits, Martin had five, Wirkkala and Ostgaard four, and Blaylock, Crislip, and Blaylock three apiece. Martin in centerfield, Schaak in left, Blaylock at second, and Crislip at first played exceptional defense and Mooch Smith completely shut down the Panther's running game by gunning down three of five base stealers from his catcher's position.

Ilwaco is now 12-3 overall and 8-3 in league.

Redmon (L) and Moorcraft; Leonard (W, 7-2) and Smith

Stump, Ray (6), Clement (6), Moody (7, L) and Moody, Moorcraft (7); Ostgaard (2-0) and Smith

Mounties top Ilwaco 12-2RAINIER - Ilwaco played upstart Rainier close for five innings, but ran out of gas in the final two frames, dropping a 12-2 Southwest Washington contest there Friday to a team that is finally at full strength. The makeup game was originally set for April 14, then April 30, then as part of a double header May 9.

Anthony Wirkkala pitched six innings after going four the previous Tuesday and Jarod Schaak was pressed into service at third base. The Fishermen trailed 4-2 going into the sixth, but five walks, an error, and five base hits including a double and a triple put the Mounties up 12-2.

"We were tired mentally and physically and hit about five or six line drives right on the nose but right too their fielders," Coach Kevin Heimbigner said. "It seemed like everything they hit was a "seeing eye" grounder or a Texas Leaguer just out of our reach. We just couldn't catch a break early and then they took advantage when we ran out of arms."

Mooch Smith singled in the fourth inning and after a stolen base scored on Wirkkala's single. Travis Ostgaard, doubled to deep left field and lined a single to right center, but did not score. His 350-foot blast in the fourth inning was caught in deep left following Wirkkala's run-scoring single.

Thomas Jenkins made a fine catch in left field and Mooch Smith, after catching 14 innings the day before, played excellent defense behind the dish, tossing out one runner and calling a good game.

Schaak's wind-blown double in the fifth and Alex Martin's ground single down the left field line accounted for the remainder of the Fishermen's offense. In a brief junior varsity contest following the varsity game Jordan DeSimone and Colten Chalker singled and scored.

Wirkkala (L, 3-2), Blaylock (6), DeSimone (7) and Smith; Norton (W) and Bowser

Fishermen clobber Chinooks, 11-10 in thrillerLONG BEACH - Ilwaco blasted their way to an 11-2 lead after three innings and then held on to defeat perennial SWW league power Kalama 11-10 here Tuesday, moving into third place in the process.

Nick Leonard started strong on the mound for the Fishermen, but with a double header looming on Thursday Paul Blaylock and Anthony Wirkkala also saw pitching duty. Leonard gave up two runs, Blaylock four, and Wirkkala four, but with five errors at the shortstop position, all 10 Chinook runs slipped through the Fishermen's grasp and were unearned.

Wirkkala induced a popup to Travis Ostgaard at third base with the tying run on second base and two outs in the final frame. Alex Martin in centerfield made four sensational running catches during the fray and catcher Mooch Smith had a "strike-'em-out, throw-'em-out" double play to kill a rally in the fifth inning. Ilwaco's 6-4-3 double play reeled in another Chinook threat in the third.

Ilwaco scored three runs in their first time at bat on RBI singles by Smith, Wirkkala, and Ostgaard. Martin, Smith, and Wirkkala accounted for two more tallies in the second on line drive singles. The Fishermen plated a half-dozen runs in the third on three walks, Kalama's two errors, and screaming line drives from Smith, Wirkkala, Ostgaard, Blaylock, and Quinn Padgett.

"We lost our patience at the plate, began swinging at bad pitches, and didn't score again after the third," Coach Kevin Heimbigner said. "The entire team was clicking in the first three innings as everyone either walked or got a hit and we managed 11 stolen bases without a hitch during that time."

Wirkkala was 4-4 with three RBIs and Smith was 3-4 with five RBIs to lead the winners at the dish. Ostgaard was 2-4 with 2 RBI, Blaylock 2-3 with an RBI, and Martin and Padgett also slammed singles. Leonard, Bobby Crislip, and Jarod Schaak each contributed two bases on balls to the offense and all three stole a base.

The Fishermen are now 6-3 in league play and Kalama drops to 6-5. "It took a total team effort to beat a good team tonight," Heimbigner said. "Guys who usually don't make defensive mistakes did, but we picked each other up and really hit the ball and ran the bases well."

Peacock (L), Rader (2), Linder (3) and Thomas; Leonard (W), Blaylock (4), Wirkkala (5) and Smith

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