LONG BEACH — Landin Frank hit a bases-loaded, no-out tapper halfway to the mound, the pitcher bobbled it, and Chris Wood slid to beat the throw home for an extra-inning 3-2 Ilwaco victory over South Bend in their double-header opener Saturday, March 30. Ilwaco completed the sweep by winning the second game 11-0.
South Bend ace Drew Rose struck out 13 Fishermen in six and a third innings in the opener. But a strong performance by pitcher Trenton Cox (7.1 innings, 8 strikeouts, 1 walk, 2 runs) kept Ilwaco in it. Errors by the Indians led to Ilwaco runs in the fourth and fifth innings, allowing them to force extra innings; the game was tied at 2 after the regulation seven innings.
Chris Wood was hit by a pitch to lead off the bottom of the eighth, stole second and took third when the ball trickled away from the second baseman. With first and second open, South Bend decided to intentionally walk Reese Tynkila and Jackson Wilkin, setting up a force-out at every base. Frank came up and hit the ball hard on the ground, South Bend’s relief pitcher bobbled, got it back and threw home, but Wood beat the throw for the win.
Frank pitched a five-inning, two-hit shutout in the second game. Jackson Wilkins’ sacrifice fly brought in Nate Hopkins in the first. In the third Ilwaco scored seven runs, most of them forced in on walks or hit batters, as three South Bend pitchers in the inning could not find the zone.