By Martin Barrett
Cameron Keller Delivers First Pitch of a 5 Inning Shut Out
Through the 3rd inning, the game was a pitching duel—Edwards of the Eagles vs. Highline’s Cameron Keller. Neither pitcher allowed more than 5 batters to come to the plate. No side was able to gain momentum. “We had a slow start. But we picked up as the game progressed. It is always a good game when we play against Lindbergh. Now it’s on to Steilacoom,” said 2nd baseman Ronan Rasmussen.
In the fourth inning, the Pirates came alive! Hawke Hansen led off the inning by getting on base from an Eagle error. Gus Schafer followed with a walk. Keller singled to right center, and Rasmussen singled to bring Hansen home. 0-1 Pirates. Center Fielder Marquawn McCraney singled to bring home Schafer. 0-2 Pirates.
In the fifth inning the Pirates picked up where they left off in the fourth. After a lead-off strikeout, the next batter, Ronan Easter, singled. Hansen doubled, and Easter scored. 0-3 Pirates. Schafer singled to left, and Hansen scored. 0-4 Pirates. Keller doubles, and Schafer scores. 0-5 Pirates.
This ballgame was the 4th contest between the Pirates and Eagles this season. Highline had a 2-1 record against Lindbergh. (This game was critical, as the tournament is not a single elimination affair for the Pirates after a pounding loss to the Fife Trojans 14-0 on Tuesday.)
“I feel like it’s a great game to play at this time of the year. The pressure was high, and everyone was there wanting to win. Facing people multiple times also helps on the mound because after facing the same people a couple of times, you start to know what works and doesn’t work against them. Today it was mainly my fastball. I was hitting my spots today, as well as them also swinging through it. I really only used the curveball when I needed to so I could try and get them to chase a pitch”, winning Pitcher Keller said.
Keller faced 20 batters. He threw 75 pitches in 5 innings, 52 for strikes. He collected 10 strikeouts and gave up only 2 bases on balls. Gus Schafer finished the game, closing out the 6th and 7th innings, giving up just one run.
The Pirates connected on 9 hits, shared among 6 players. First baseman Roman Easter, along with Keller and Rasmussen, each had 2 hits. As expected, once on the pads, Coach Locher had his team running. The Pirates swiped 6 based, Easter snatching 2 of them.
“Cam and Gus pitched a great game. The last four playoff games have been both fun and challenging, and the players are giving it all they got. Hawke did well behind the plate the day after pitching and had a great double to right center. Emilio continues to get better and better in the infield. Trey Hart also made a couple of key catches for us in left, including an over-the-shoulder catch at the end of the game.”, a pleased Coach Locher said.
The Pirates play Steilacoom Saturday: 1:00 at Mosier Field. A victory puts them in the state tournament. A loss, and the season is over.