ELMA — Two very different games shared a common thread on Friday as Elma split with Hoquiam in an Evergreen 1A League baseball doubleheader Friday at Eagle Field.
Although one game was a blowout, and the other went into extra innings, both games featured a fantastic performance from the winning pitcher.
The Grizzlies (4-2) outslugged the Eagles in the first game, and came away with a 10-2 win, but Elma (3-2, 5-2) avenged that loss by winning a nine-inning thriller, 5-4, on Nick Camenzind’s walk-off hit.
Hoquiam 10, Elma 2
Grizzly ace Sammy Lowder pitched the full seven innings, allowing just five hits and two unearned runs.
The Grizzlies opened the game on a hot-hitting streak. Each of the first six Hoquiam batters reached base safely, and the Grizzlies scored four runs in the top of the first.
The scoring started when Jake Guined hit a single up the middle, scoring Blake Kelly and Josh Bishop. Drew Bravos followed by belting a double off the left-field fence, plating Guined. Bravos then reached third base on a passed ball, and scored on a bunt base hit by Lowder.
Guined went 3-for-3 at the plate, with two singles and a double. The second baseman also drove in five runs, and was cited by Hoquiam head coach Steve Jump for his defensive play.
Josh Bishop had five hits for the Grizzlies.
“We can potentially be a great-hitting team” Jump said. “Blake (Kelly) was on fire, Josh (Steen) had a great day, Jake Guined had a great day. So did Joel Brydon. I could go on. This is just a very good hitting, athletic group.”
“They just flat out-hit us,” Elma head coach Scott Rowland said. “But you have to give their pitcher credit. Sammy did a great job. He mixed his pitches well, and kept us off balance.”
Elma 5, Hoquiam 4
With the game tied at 4, Elma’s Todd Swinhart walked to lead off the bottom of the ninth inning. Swinhart then reached scoring position by stealing second base.
Camenzind then hit a walk-off single into right field that scored Swinhart.
Layne Sutten pitched all nine innings for Elma, and finished very strong. Sutten was perfect in his final three innings of work, and struck out seven of the last nine batters he faced. Sutten struck out 13 Grizzly batters in the game.
“He got stronger as the game went on” Rowland said of Sutten. “His seventh, eighth and ninth innings were dynamite. He faced every single kid in that lineup, and set them down in order. You can’t ask for a better performance from a pitcher than that. It was amazing, and then we got the clutch hit when we needed it. Hoquiam is a very good ball club. If you can steal one from them, you’re doing good.”
“The reason we didn’t get 17 hits again in the second game is because (Sutten) did a great job,” Jump said. “He kept us off balance. He kept the ball down, and mixed his pitches. He got stronger as the game went on.”
Both teams will be back in action on Thursday.
Hoquiam will host the Forks Spartans, and Elma will travel to Tenino to take on the Beavers.
Hoq 400 105 0 — 10 17 2 Elma 100 100 0 — 2 5 2
Lowder and Bishop; Hamilton, Camenzind (4), Simpson (6) and Black
RBl: Hoquiam — Guined 5, Lowder 2, Bravos, Brydon. Elma – Camenzind, Simpson. Five hits: Hoquiam —Bishop. Three Hits: Hoquiam — Guined, Kelly. Two Hits: Hoquiam – Bravos, Brydon. Elma – Simpson. Doubles: Hoquiam — Brydon 2, Bravos, Guined. Elma— Black.
Winning pitcher — Lowder (walked one; struck out five). Losing pitcher — Hamilton (walked two; struck out three).
Hoq 200 020 000 — 4 7 3 Elma 100 300 001 – 5 9 0
Steen, Kyle Standstipher (5) and Bishop; Sutten and Black
RBl: Hoquiam — Steen 3, Guined. Elma – Black, Camenzind, Escalante, Hamilton, Sutten. Two Hits: Hoquiam – Brydon, Kelly, Steen. Elma – Black, Camenzind, LaDue. Doubles: Hoquiam — Brydon, Steen. Elma — Hamilton.
Winning pitcher — Sutten (walked one; struck out thirteen). Losing pitcher — Steen (walked one; struck out one).