Last Friday Lewis County entered Phase 3 of the state’s COVID-19 recovery plan. A little over 24-hours later the titans of I-5 Toyota and the Dirtbags of Rural Baseball Incorporated met at Wheeler Field in Centralia and played a pair of real life baseball games.
No fans were allowed inside the stadium and there were no famous Wheeler burgers for sale. But that didn’t stop curious locals from finding, or creating, gaps in the fence where they could catch a glimpse of the action. On the field I-5 Toyota, the traditional American Legion squad out of Centralia, prevailed easily in both contests, with scores of 17-2 and 22-0.
That team features a pair of Lower Columbia College players who served as the starting battery in game one of Saturday’s doubleheader with Jeter Larson doing the pitching and Kyle Casperson donning the tools of ignorance. Larson surrendered just one earned run in four innings of work while striking out nine batters and earning the win. Casperson caught both games and finished the day with a pair of hits and four runs scored.
While the outcome for the Dirtbags was a far cry from what their players had been dreaming of over the past three idle months, the sights and sounds of their first games of the summer season were the same as they remembered. For Rural Baseball Inc. a conglomerate team with players from Kalama, Rainier, Clatskanie, Toledo, Winlock, and other parts of Lewis County, Saturday was the first time they’d all been on the field together. It was also the first time any of their players had picked up a bat since March 12.
Still, Chase Staup of Kalama managed a hit in both games. Mekhi Morlin or Winlock added a hit and a run scored in the first game while Jesse Towns of Toledo notched a hit and a stolen base. J.C. Workman and Tyan Thompson of Mossyrock also added hits on the day.
Rural Baseball Inc. is scheduled to play Hockinson in Winlock on Wednesday at 5 p.m. and Hilander Dental at Astoria High School on Friday at 5 p.m.
Pac-Tech devours Nipps’s Burgers in season opening double dip
By The Daily News
The juniors squads from Lower Columbia Baseball Club squared off here in Astoria on Saturday in a season-opening doubleheader at their adopted home-away-from-home.
Playing in Oregon in order to find a facility that would allow their teams on the field rust from a three-month hiatus was evident on both sides. Still, Pacific Tech was able to down their peers from Nipp’s Burgers by scores of 12-1 and 20-4.
In the day’s first contest Kjell Guttormsen notched a three-run double while Ben Muraski whacked a two-run two-bagger. Muraski picked up the win on the mound.
In the nightcap Joey Strange belted a two-run double and Tegan Connors earned a nod from his coaches for his performance patrolling center field. Brodie Fitzpatrick picked up the win for Pac-Tech. Colton Lindstrom also earned a nod for closing the game out on the mound.