KNAPPA — Trying to win where nobody ever wins, Naselle trailed Knappa just 3-0 after four innings. But the two-time defending Oregon 1A-2A champs hammered them for seven runs in the fifth inning to win 10-0 at home Thursday, March 14. That extended what maxpreps.com lists as the nation’s longest winning streak to 39 games.

Naselle’s only scoring chance against Tristan Wallace came in the first inning. Ethan Lindstrom hit a two-out double. After a walk to Cole Dorman, Jimmy Strange had a line-drive single that was hit too hard to score the runners, loading the bases. Wallace got out of trouble with a strikeout of Josh Townsen.

After that, Wallace allowed only one hit.

“He was nothing overpowering, but he’s a typical lefty who mixes his speeds,” Naselle coach Randy Lindstrom said. “He threw a back-door breaking ball that gave us fits.”

Dorman walked five in the first inning, leading to three Knappa runs, and threw 44 pitches. Lindstrom, intent on keeping pitch counts to 50 early in the year, brought in Townsen, who worked a scoreless second and third. Eighth-grader Clay Bergeson took the mound in the fourth and got through the middle of the order.

But in the fifth, the first Knappa batter reached on an error, and Bergeson walked the next three batters to force in a run. Ethan Lindstrom moved from shortstop to take the mound and induced a potential double play off the bat of Eli Takalo, who instead reached on an error that brought in more runs.

Naselle in some ways showed it could compete with Knappa. It had repeated chances to get out of the fatal fifth inning. Multiple Comet pitchers proved they could handle Knappa’s lineup when they threw strikes; the team allowed only two hits. But walks and errors did Naselle in.

“I told them after the game everybody thought we had a chance to win, except ourselves,” Lindstrom said. “Their coaches thought we had a chance. They told us we’re a good team and that’s why they scheduled us.”

Aaron Mead is a sports writer for the Chinook Observer. Contact him at 360-642-8181 or aaroncmead@gmail.com.

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