It may have sapped all their energy, but Kalama’s newest dugout chant is to simply make as little noise as possible.
It came about during the nightcap of Kalama’s Central 2B League doubleheader sweep at Toutle Lake on Monday, in which the Chinooks won 2-1 in the opener and 9-4 in the more than three-hour finale.
The shushing from Kalama’s dugout got plenty of chuckles from orange jerseys, and even from the umpires — which was good because the nightcap was one of the longest Kalama coach Brandon Walker has ever been part of.
“It felt like we were never going to get out of here,” Walker said. “What really saved us is that we only had 10 or 15 minutes tops in between games.”
Toutle Lake scored in the first inning of the opener on a single by Austin Sweet that scored Zach Vetter. Kalama matched that in the second inning as Parker Wood singled in Bradey Vance, who also scored the winning run in the fourth inning.
Tommy Brandenburg pitched six innings with 12 strikeouts for Kalama, while Toutle’s Zach Vetter pitched all seven innings with five strikeouts.
“He’s kind of like Kershaw where you have to get a few runs out there for him,” Toutle coach Jerry Johnson said. “When you lose a tight ballgame, the emotions sometimes cause a fall.”
In the nightcap, Kalama’s five-run third inning made the ultimate difference, though it didn’t hurt that Tucker Wetmore pitched 5-⅔ innings with four strikeouts and one earned run. Alex Dyer doubled and plated two runners to keep a rally alive despite the two outs and Dyer scored on an error two at bats later. Bradey Vance earned a four-out hold and the two pitchers combined for only three walks.
“The key for us right now is limiting our walks,” Walker said, “and I think we did that for the most part today.”
Perhaps the bigger win for Kalama, though, was breaking down a mental wall.
“Us as a team we’ve had a history of when we pick up that first win, we kind of get lackadaisical in that second game,” Walker said. “So to see these guys come out and compete in that second game, and puts some hits and runs together, that’s good to see.”
Parker Wood, who struck out for the first time this season, also sent a solo homer over the center field wall on the first pitch of the nightcap, and he likes where the team is at.
“It feels pretty good about,” Wood said. “it’s always nice to be up in league and not down early in the season”
Kalama (8-3, 7-1) gets a few days rest before hosting Toledo on Saturday, while Toutle Lake (4-5, 4-4) also gets some rest before traveling to Winlock on Saturday.