Mason Baseball of Aberdeen stormed into the lead of the American Legion Area II Southern Division in baseball by sweeping four games last weekend at Pioneer Park’s Ken Waite Field.
Mason topped previous division leader Titus-Will Motors of Centralia, 6-5 in eight innings, and 8-5 on Saturday, then took a pair from Sobe Toyota of Chehalis, 7-1 and 10-3 on Sunday.
The Aberdeen-Hoquiam team improved its league record to 7-2, one game ahead of division runner-up Lower Columbia. It will play the remainder of its league games on the road, starting with a July 10 doubleheader at Capital High School.
Cole Edwards and Blake Kelly delivered the key hits and Skyler Jump was the winning pitcher in both games as Mason swept Titus-Will of Centralia.
Edwards’ walk-off triple in the eighth inning decided the opening game.
Tristan Stutesman collected an infield single with one out in the eighth. Titus-Will shortstop Nolan Wasson made a fine backhanded stop of Stutesman’s grounder into the hole between short and third, but fell down as he planted his feet and was unable to get enough on the throw to first.
Edwards followed with an opposite-field drive over the right-fielder’s head and Stutesman easily beat the relay to the plate. Edwards also wound up coming home when the catcher inexplicably threw to third base, but the game was over once Stutesman scored.
The pitchers on both sides settled down after a shaky start in which each team scored four runs in the first two innings. Mason starter Kolby Shelton, after throwing 51 pitches in the opening two frames, settled down to allow only one more hit in his remaining three innings on the mound.
The left-handed Jump went the final three innings to pick up the win.
After stranding seven runners in the first five innings, Mason snapped the 4-4 tie in the sixth when Kelly’s bloop single scored Edwards.
Centralia tied it in the top of the seventh on a hit batter and consecutive singles by Andy Sommer and Zach Wood. The latter was Wood’s third hit of the contest.
“We got some good pitching from the second inning on,” Mason manager Dave Edwards noted. “Both Kolby and Skyler were real solid. Normally if you leave that many on, a team as good as Centralia will make you pay.”
Mason catcher Josh Bishop threw out two would-be basestealers, one involving a spectacular play by Cole Edwards at the other end. The Mason shortstop went way up the ladder to flag down a high throw and came down in time to apply the tag.
Kelly’s towering home run over the right-field fence in the fifth inning snapped a 3-3 tie in the nightcap. Mason added four more runs in the sixth.
That gave Jump, who started this contest and went the first four innings, his second win of the afternoon. Stutesman finished up on the mound.
Bishop led the Mason attack with three hits and two RBIs while Kelly and Shelton added two hits apiece.
Deon Schlesser pitched a complete-game three-hitter in the first game against Sobe Toyota.
Kelly, Jump and Tyler Ames had two hits apiece in that contest.
Jump delivered three hits and three RBIs in the second game. Shelton, Bishop and Austin Edwards had two hits apiece in that game.
Austin Edwards, who pitched four innings of scoreless relief, collected the victory in the second contest.