Cruisers thriving after close wins

12:16 pm April 3rd, 2014

Eatonville High School’s baseball team has a 4-1 record after two one-run victories last week over Nisqually League opponents.
The Cruisers topped Life Christian-Wright 5-4 March 25, one day after a 3-2 verdict over Cascade Christian. In addition to giving them four wins in their first five games of the 2014 season, the outcomes pushed Eatonville to a 2-1 mark in the Nisqually.
Against Life Christian-Wright, Eatonville scored what proved to be the winning runs in the top of the sixth inning. With his team leading 3-2, Wyatt Coleman led off with a hit and was sacrificed to second base on a bunt by Caleb Keefer. The throw to first on the bunt sailed over the first baseman’s head and resulted in runners at second and third with no outs. Cole Stevens then laid down a squeeze bunt to score Coleman, and Keefer scored on an error to give Eatonville what seemed at the time a commanding 5-2 lead.
But Life Christian, trailing 5-3 in the bottom of the seventh inning, put runners on first and second with one out. The next batter flew out to second base, before a single scored the runner from second. On the throw home, the other Life Christian runners advanced to second and third.
Starting pitcher Stevens, who had spread out seven hits and given up just three earned runs to that point, was relieved by Alex Brandt, who got the next batter to hit a groundball right at him. He threw to first to record the final out and earn the save.
The Eatonville-Cascade Christian contest was a pitching and defensive dual, said Cruisers coach Mike Moeller. Both teams managed just four hits, but a two-run sixth inning – on an RBI single by Connor Wienholz and a run-scoring fly ball by Keefer – broke a 1-1 tie for the Cruisers and pushed them to the win.
Stevens came on in the seventh inning in a relief pitcher role after Gage Streich had hurled a six-inning, three-hit gem. The Cougars scored one run to cut Eatonville’s lead to 3-2, but with the tying run on third, third baseman Coleman fielded a ground ball, got the lead CC runner in a rundown and threw him out at home plate to help preserve the lead and victory.

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