The Hoquiam Grizzlies baseball team had its first league win of the year in its grasp with a 5-1 lead into the final inning only to have the Eatonville Cruisers come back with a five-run seventh inning to give them a 6-5 win to complete the three-game sweep and secure third place in the 1A Evergreen Conference.
After Hoquiam starter Chris Bryson held the Cruisers to only one run through six innings, the Eatonville hitters finally got to him and roughed him up for five runs in the final frame to hand him the loss.
Blain Hanly went 3-4 on the day with a double and scored the game’s tying run as he swiped home on a wild pitch. Ashton Meyer went 2-4 with an RBI and scored the game-winning run after Payton Hanly, who was 2-4 also with an RBI, drove him in.
Payton Hanly threw five and two-thirds innings and struck out nine Hoquiam batters. Skylar Sarpy took over in the bottom of the sixth inning and was the pitcher of record when the Cruisers took the lead and victory in the seventh.
Earlier in the week on May 3, the Cruisers hosted the Grizzlies in a double-header. Eatonville jumped all over the Grizzlies to come away with an 11-3 victory, sealing a postseason bid.
Sarpy went 3-4 with a double and drove in four runs to lead the Cruisers. Jakob Lucht picked up three hits in four at bats with an RBI. Payton Hanly and Brandon Storm had multiple hits in the game, as well. Hanly hit two doubles and drove in two runs, while Storm drove in a run and scored twice.
Blain Hanly got the nod on the mound for the Cruisers and pitched a complete game. He allowed only three runs on six hits and struck out seven.
After the first game, the Cruiser coaching staff, parents and community members honored the team’s 10 seniors and thanked them for their four years with the program and wished them luck in their future endeavors.
In the second game, the pitching tandem of Meyer, Sarpy and Lucht combined to allow only two hits in the game. Meyer got the start and picked up the win as he went six innings and allowed zero hits while striking out six Grizzly hitters as Eatonville cruised to a 7-1 victory.
Payton Hanly led the Cruisers with two hits. He went 2-4 with a double and drove in four runs.
The Cruisers finished the regular season with a 10-9 record overall, 6-6 in league play. They have clinched the No. 3 seed into the District 4 playoffs. They traveled to Castle Rock on Monday to take on the La Center Wildcats, who were the TriCo league's No. 2-seeded team. This is a double-elimination tournament, and the top three finishers will advance to the state tournament. The winner of Monday's game played the winner of the Montesano/Columbia-White Salmon game in the district semi-finals on Tuesday in Hoquiam while the loser played the loser of that Montesano/Columbia-White Salmon match-up Tuesday at Castle Rock.
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