Senior Day for Aberdeen’s baseball team didn’t produce the critical victory the Bobcats had sought.
Joe Blaser contributed four hits and three RBIs as Centralia downed the Bobcats, 8-3, in an Evergreen 2A Conference baseball game Monday at Pioneer Park’s Ken Waite Field.
The Bobcats (4-12, 4-13) began the day in a virtual tie with River Ridge and Capital for the league’s fifth and final district playoff berths.
Drawing the league bye in midweek, they will conclude the regular season with road games against Chehalis on Friday and Capital on Tuesday. They’ll need to win at least one of those contests to keep their postseason hopes alive.
Centralia (9-3, 11-3) never trailed Monday in a contest in which nearly all of the scoring came early. The biggest upset of the day was that both starting pitchers — Centralia’s Jake Sutton and Aberdeen’s Tyler Ames — went the distance after allowing a combined nine runs in the opening three innings.
With one exception, Ames did a fine job of staying away from the big inning despite surrendering 13 hits and three walks. The junior right-hander twice worked out of bases-loaded predicaments and helped his own cause in the first by picking a runner off first base.
“He settled in.” Bobcat coach Shon Schreiber said. “He gave us the seven innings that we needed because we had no (other fresh) pitchers.”
Ames, however, was unable to escape major damage in a four-run third inning in which the Tigers did all their scoring with two outs.
Jacob Monohon smacked a two-run triple to right-center and came in when Mitch Halbleib doubled off the left-field fence. Gavin Kerner followed with an RBI single that gave the visitors a 6-1 advantage.
The Bobcats founced back with two runs in their half of the third. Cole Edwards stroked a leadoff single and scored from third when Jordon Logan’s bouncer to third base was muffed (with less than two out, Edwards would have scored even had the ball had been handled cleanly). Deon Schlesser, who had walked, eventually plated on a wild pitch.
Surprisingly, after threatening in each of the first three innings, Aberdeen mustered only one more baserunner the rest of the way as the diminutive Sutton found his control.
Ames also threw a string of three straight scoreless innings before Blaser’s two-run single in the seventh put the game out of reach.
Schreiber was at a loss to explain his club’s inability to generate any offense in the late going.
“Pretty much the whole season has been like that,” he said.
Aberdeen seniors Schlesser, Logan, Collin Martin, Cody Swor, Erikk Machowek, Chase Johnson and Gabe Turner were honored in pre-game ceremonies.
Centralia 114 000 2 — 8 13 1 Aberdeen 102 000 0 — 3 5 2
Sutton and Monohon; Ames and Turner.
RBI: Centralia — Blaser 3, Fagerness, Monohon 2, Halbleib. Aberdeen — Schlesser, Logan. Four hits: Centralia — Blaser. Two hits: Centralia — Kerner, Wasson, Monohon. Aberdeen — Edwards. Triples: Centralia — Monohon. Doubles: Centralia — Kerner, Housden, Halbleib. Aberdeen — Schlesser, Martin.
Winning pitcher — Sutton (walked three; struck out four). Losing pitcher — Ames (walked three; struck out two).