RAYMOND — Trenton Cox and Landin Frank both got wins as Ilwaco won a double-header against Raymond 6-3 and 12-5 Wednesday, April 24.
Raymond tied the game at three with a two-run top of the fifth. But in the bottom of the inning, Ilwaco loaded the bases with one out on a pair of walks and a Nate Hopkins single, and Dylan Simonson got hit by a pitch to force in a run. Ghannon Whelden’s second hit of the day drove in two more to make it a 6-3 game.
Cox struck out eight batters and walked one, overcoming shoddy defense for a seven-inning complete game win.
Landin Frank dominated the Seagulls, striking out 13 of the 29 batters he faced in six innings in the 12-5 win. Frank had a very sharp curveball, getting swings and misses at balls in the dirt, and hit the top and bottom of the zone with his fastball. The 13 strikeouts were crucial in a game where Ilwaco’s defense wasn’t fielding much of anything that was put in play.
The Seagulls got to Frank early, as Jack Jordan and Mason Crawford opened with back-to-back singles and scored with the help of two Ilwaco errors. But Frank got Grey Johnson and Tristan Hamlin for back-to-back strikeouts on high fastballs, to end the inning, starting a stretch of 10 strikeouts in 13 batters.
“It starts in the zone and breaks out and gets them to swing,” Frank said of his curve. That makes it sound easy, but it’s rare for a pitcher to have the pitch working the way he did Wednesday.
“They’re a very aggressive team,” coach Doug Pellerin said. “He was getting some swings on 3-1 counts on curveballs.”
With Raymond still ahead 2-1, pitcher Jack Jordan lost control in the fourth inning, loading the bases with no outs on walks and a hit batter. For the second straight game, Whelden cashed in, doubling in two runs, with another coming in to score on a groundout by Trenton Cox to make it 4-2 Ilwaco.
In the fifth, against reliever Hayden Stephens, Hopkins lined a first pitch hard up the middle for an RBI double. Reese Tynkila followed with a two-run single to make it 7-2. Raymond answered with two in the bottom of the inning. But Dylan Simon’s three-run double capped a five-run sixth to put the game out of reach.