WESTPORT - A tie for third place in the Pacific 2B League with North Beach forced a loser-out playoff game Thursday. The Comets took an early 5-0 lead, only to see the Hyaks storm back for a 10-5 win to earn the right to play the Central number six team to get into district, while Naselle finished their season with a 6-10 mark.
Naselle broke the ice by plating two runs in the top of the first on Nate Sultemeier's double, Logan Scrabeck's RBI single, a stolen base and a Nick Hines RBI base hit. In the second they doubled the Comets advantage on a walk, a Sultemeier single, a double steal and John Hines' line drive two-RBI base hit to give Naselle a 4-0 advantage. Leo Mendoza slammed a home run over the centerfield fence to up the ante to 5-0 after three frames.
Mendoza had shut out the Hyaks for the initial three innings, but began to tire and lose the plate in the fourth and fifth, walking seven batters and allowing four runs. John Hines came on in the sixth and Nick Hines followed on the mound, but North Beach took advantage of more walks to tally six in the sixth and win the game going away 10-5.
For the game Sultemeier was 2-4 and Nick Hines 2-3 and both seniors slammed doubles. Mike Shirley, also a senior was 1-3 and Mendoza, John Hines and Scrabeck were all 1-4. Naselle ends their season at 6-10 and 4-6 in the Pacific, while North Beach is 4-6 and 7-11 on the season.
Coach Pete Donlon expressed gratitude for assistant Randy Lindstrom and volunteer coaches Chris Hinkle and Paul Wirkkala for doing a fine job all season. He concluded, "We had several games this season we had every opportunity to win, but just didn't. A classic example was the Ocosta game we played just before this one." Donlon had praise for seniors Sultemeier, Nick Hines, Shirley, Gabe See and Marcus Sanchez for their contributions to the Naselle baseball program.
Naselle 221 000 0 5-8-1
North Beach 000 226 x 10-8-2
Leo Mendoza (L), John Hines (6), Nick Hines (6) and Nick Hines, John Hines (6); Joe Ray and Studebaker
Sultemeier loses no-hitter, Comets lose the game 5-2WESTPORT - "It was the oddest baseball game I have ever seen," Comets Coach Pete Donlon said following Naselle dropping a 5-2 critical Pacific 2B League decision to Ocosta in eight innings even though Nate Sultemeier had fired a no-hitter for seven innings. The win gave the Wildcats sole possession of second place at 5-5 and a berth into this week's district baseball tournament.
Because Naselle lost they dropped into a tie for third in the Pacific, forcing a playoff with North Beach as both teams have identical 4-6 records and had split their regular season games. The winner of the tie-breaker then would play the Central number six team for the final berth into the District IV tourney.
The game - which was originally set to be played at Naselle on Monday - was knotted at 2-2 after regulation play. The Comets gave up three in the top of the eighth inning after recording the first two outs as Naselle was "home team" even though the contest was moved to Westport's GAR field.
"We did everything but win," Donlon lamented. "We had some chances at bat, but we had more chances in the field to hold Ocosta scoreless. Things just didn't work out." One situation that was disappointing was the fact that in a game with district implications only one umpire reported for duty and twice it appeared Wildcats had strayed off base and been tagged out, only to have the one official not see the play.
Ocosta had taken a 1-0 lead in the top of the third on a walk and crucial error. The Comets took the lead in the bottom of the frame when Alan Erickson worked his way aboard with a base on balls and Sultemeier slammed a single. Both moved up on a double steal after the second out was recorded with a strike out and then John Hines slapped a clutch two-out, two-strike single up the middle to plate both runners.
In the bottom of the seventh inning the Comets threatened when Mike Shirley walked and was off and running when Austin Burkhalter smashed a line drive to the deep right field corner, only to see the ball land in the outfielder's outstretched glove on a fine running catch.
Ocosta tied the game in the fifth on another walk and error and then in the eighth used a pair of Naselle errors, a single and a double to score three runs after Sultemeier had struck out the first hitter in the extra frame and flagged down a come-backer to the mound for the second out. He faced two hitters over the limit during the first seven innings and walked two and struck out nine, while finishing with a two-hit gem.
Nick Hines, Logan Scrabeck and Shirley belted singles and joined John Hines with one and Sultemeier with two safeties for Naselle in the tilt. The Comets are now 6-9 on the year and finish 4-6 in league and tied for third. The Wildcats are also 6-9 and 5-5 in league play and played the Central number two team on May 12 in Napavine to kick off the District IV tourney.
Ocosta 001 010 03 5-2-2
Naselle 002 000 00 2-5-5
Patrick Glennon, Ian Karnas (3, W) and James Wallace; Nate Sultemeier (L) and Nick Hines