After being mired in a nine-game losing streak, the Eatonville Cruiser baseball team had an offensive explosion last week and defeated the Hoquiam Grizzlies 14-8 in the second game of a doubleheader at Hoquiam’s historic Olympic Stadium, April 25.
Every player in the Cruiser lineup recorded a hit in the game. Eatonville’s Aaron Tozier had a breakout game and led the team in hits, going 3-5 at the plate with two doubles and driving in three runs.
Colton Herbrand picked up the win on the mound for Eatonville after coming into the game in relief in the fifth inning. He allowed no hits and one run over three innings while striking out three Grizzly batters to pick up his first career high school victory on the mound.
The Cruisers nearly snapped their losing streak in game 1 of the doubleheader, but their comeback fell short as Hoquiam took the first game, 14-13.
Down five runs in the final inning, the Cruisers mounted their comeback bid. A walk, a single and another walk to the first three batters of the inning loaded the bases for Payton Hanly. Hanly then singled to right field to score two runs. Copper Field then drove in another run on a ground out to make the score 14-12.
Hanly swiped third base before Tozier hit a sacrifice fly to center field that scored Hanly to bring the Cruisers within one at 14-13. The Cruiser offense then stalled, and Will Sepich was stranded on base.
Head coach Doug Fillbach said he was proud of how his team bounced back after game one of the doubleheader.
“The team played very well,” he said. “We went into the night knowing that we had to get at least one win, preferably two. After the tough loss in the first game, we were in a very low spot. I was extremely proud of the boys when I asked them to dig deep, find something they wanted to play for and to wipe the first game and reset to win the second game.
“They did an amazing job of coming together and believing they could win,” Fillbach added. “The team also did an amazing job keeping their composure. They found something in themselves Tuesday night and were able to come together. We are hoping we can continue to ride that wave into the last week of the season and potentially make it into the district playoffs.”
The Cruisers suffered another one-run loss to end the week on Friday when they played a non-league affair against the Spanaway Lake Sentinels.
Eatonville led 7-5 in the sixth inning before the Sentinels pushed six runs across to bring the score to 11-7.
The Cruisers picked up three more runs in the top of the seventh only to fall short and lose 11-10.
The Cruisers finished their regular season schedule at home with a non-league game against Mt. Tahoma on Monday, but results were not available before press time. They then took on Elma Tuesday. They finish their season at home Thursday on Senior Night against Hoquiam.
The 1A Evergreen League sends the top four teams to district the playoffs, where they play teams from the TriCo league. Eatonville currently sits in fourth place and will need to finish off the regular season strong for a shot at extending its season into the district playoffs.
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