Ducks overpower Ocosta in district opener

WESTPORT — A Toutle Lake power show that started early lasted too long to suit Ocosta.

Ryan Oliver drove in five runs with a home run and two doubles as the Ducks trounced the Wildcats, 11-2, in the opening round of the District IV Class 2B Baseball Tournament on Monday at GAR Park.

The Wildcats (11-7) will face Naselle in a loser-out contest scheduled for 5:30 today at Adna. Ocosta must win twice in the double-elimination tournament to earn a regional berth.

Oliver opened the scoring with a mammoth two-run homer that landed in the trees between the center-field fence in the first inning. He added an RBI double in the fourth and a two-run double in the seventh.

“That (No.) three hitter is a masher,” Ocosta coach Jason Quinby said of Oliver.

Lucas Brown also homered for the Ducks.

Toutle Lake’s hitting prowess would have been difficult to handle under any circumstances, but Ocosta failed to bring its A game to the occasion. The Wildcats committed four errors, had two runners picked off first and struck out 14 times against Duck pitcher Anthony Nusbaum — a strapping left-hander who incongruously threw predominantly off-speed stuff.

The Pacific League champion Wildcats weren’t in bad shape through three innings. Matthew Clark was hit by a pitch and advanced on a wild pitch, stopped at third on Kaleb Tackett’s single to right field and scored on an infield error to narrow the deficit to 2-1. Nusbaum’s first successful pickoff play, however, ended that threat.

Toutle Lake then proceeded to blow it open with a six-run fourth that included four hits, two walks and two errors. After two runs scored on a throwing error, Oliver drilled an RBI double to left field and Brown followed with a two-run homer, also to left.

“There were two things that hurt us and both of them were mental,” Quinby reflected. “We were overamped at the start of the game and committed a couple of miscues we don’t normally make. Then we had the pickoff at first and we kind of lost our composure.”

Clark, a freshman, also scored the other Wildcat run. He doubled down the right-field line to lead off the innings, stopped at third on Kurt Bambauer’s single to center and scored when Michael Dewood hit into a force play at second.

Quinby cited Alex Campos, who persevered on the mound to save the remainder of Ocosta’s pitching staff for today’s game. Campos threw 136 pitches in working the first 6 1/3 innings.

Adna thumped Northwest Christian, 15-3 in five innings, in the other half of the Westport doubleheader.

TL 200 060 3 — 11 10 4

Oco 001 000 1 — 2 4 4

Nusbaum and Brown; Campos, Bambauer (7) and Krigbaum, Dickinson (7).

RBI: Toutle Lake — Oliver 5, Brown 2, Anderson 2. Ocosta — Dewood. Three hits: Toutle Lake — Oliver. Two hits: Toutle Lake — Brown, Miller. Ocosta — Bambauer. Home runs: Toutle Lake — Oliver, Brown. Doubles: Toutle Lake — Oliver 2. Ocosta — Bambauer, Clark.

Winning pitcher — Nusbaum (walked two; struck out 14). Losing pitcher — Campos (walked five; struck out three).