REPUBLIC – The Tonasket High School baseball team defeated Republic in both games of a doubleheader on Saturday, April 9.
In the first game, the Tigers won 8-4. Senior Justin Dellinger pitched seven innings with 12 strike outs while senior Stephen Hulse hit 3-4 with two doubles, one run scored, three RBI and two stolen bases, freshman Jacob Cory his 1-3 with one double, one run scored and one RB, senior David Goyette hit 1-4 with two runs scored, two RBI and two stolen bases, senior Ty Thornton scored one run and stole one base, senior Corbin Mirick scored two runs and stole three bases and sophomore Ian Young scored one run and stole one bases.
“Our bats started a little cold but we were able to manufacture runs by being very aggressive on the base paths,” Head Coach Stephen Williams said. “The guys played good defense and of course, Dellinger’s 12 strike-outs certainly didn’t hurt. He had command of all of his pitches and kept them off balance the whole game. Hulse hit the ball extremely well all day and really gave us the offensive lift we needed. He did not miss a pitch all day and hit the ball hard all but one time and even then he drove a run in with a grounder to first. As a hitter, you go through times when the ball looks like a BB and it just seems impossible to get the bat on it. Other times, it looks like a beach ball coming in at 25 miles per hour. Hulse is in one of those zones where every pitch looks good and he is hitting the ball all over the field. With eight hits in the last four games, he is helping the team stay in games.”
Williams said Thornton, Mirick, Goyette, Young and Cory all added runs with some very smart and aggressive base running.
“It was a great team effort all around,” he added.
The Tigers then defeated Republic 12-9 in eight innings. Mirick pitched one and two-thirds innings with one strike out and Thornton pitched six and one-third innings with three strike-outs. Thornton his 3-5 with two doubles, one home run, three runs scored, two RBI and two stolen bases while Mirick hit 1-4 with one double, one run scored and one stolen base, Hulse hit 1-5 with one double, one run scored and two RBI, Dellinger hit 2-5 with one RBI and one stolen bases, Goyette scored one run and stole two bases, Young hit 1-4 and scored two runs, junior Dylan Fewkes hit 1-2 with two runs scored, two RBI and one stolen base, freshman Kjeld Williams hit 1-2 with one RBI, Cory scored one run with one RBI and senior Will Simms scored one run.
“Game two started out bad and got worse before it got better,” Williams said. “I knew they were going to come out swinging and they were able to get some key hits after some costly errors on our part including a three-run home run in the second. We panicked a little and made some ill-advised throws and they jumped out to a 9-1 lead with two outs in the second. I needed to make a pitching change to mix things up, hoping Thornton could give me two to three innings. He has been battling shoulder problems for a couple of years now and I wasn’t sure how long he would last. Six and two-third shut-out innings later he was still going strong and he finished the game with the win. He helped his cause at the plate as well going 3-5 with two doubles and a solo home-run that really sparked our come back.”
Williams said the rest of the team fed off of Thornton’s energy and the hitting began with seven Tigers getting ten hits and adding ten stolen bases.
“Fewkes was four feet to the left of hitting a seventh inning grand-slam which would have been the first in at least the four years I have been here,” Williams added. “It was an exciting moment and I felt bad telling him it was foul and had to go back. He kept his composer and got a hit, scoring a run which helped seal the game for us. I was really proud of the guys for not giving up early in the game. I was confident that if we could stop the bleeding, we would be able to chip away at the lead and get the win. They played the whole game and we were rewarded with a win this time.”
The week before Spring Break, the Tigers played four games, winning one of them.
On Tuesday, March 29, the Tigers lost in Leavenworth to Cascade 14-4 in six innings.
“The team played much better than the score reflects,” Williams said. “We jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first and then our bats fell asleep a bit and we missed some really good opportunities to score by making some running errors. All in all, I was pleased with the way the guys handled themselves.”
Mirick, Dellinger and Thornton all pitched for the Tigers and Williams said they gave up just a handful of earned runs but too many errors let the game get away from the team.
Goyette hit 2-3 with two singles, Young hit 1-3 with one single and Thornton hit 2-3 with two singles.
On Thursday, March 31, the Tigers defeated the Hornets in Oroville 18-8 in six innings.
“The bats actually took a little time to warm up but when they did, things started just happening,” Williams said. “Thornton was able to lead off a number of innings and we had a plan from the start of the game that if he got on, he had a great light to steal second and third if he felt he was getting a good lead from second. He was able to do it twice and scored both times. He played really well and I think it sparked the team to play their hardest as well.”
Fewkes pitched all six and one-third innings with six strikes while Thornton pitched two-thirds of one inning. Dellinger hit 1-3 and brought in four runnings, Young hit 1-3, Goyette hit 1-3, Thornton hit 3-4 and Cory hit 1-3.
On Saturday, April 2, the Tigers lost both games of a doubleheader against Chelan at home. The team lost the first game 11-0 in six innings.
“We just could not put together any hits to score runs,” Williams said. “We had a couple chances but just couldn’t make it happen. Many of their runs were unearned because of fielding errors but I thought Mirick pitched very well. This was only his second start and he is doing what I have asked him to do: throw strikes. We didn’t give him much defensive support and no run support but he kept his head up and has earned himself a spot in the starting rotation.”
Mirick pitched all six innings for the Tigers with four strikes. Dellinger hit 1-3 as did Hulse.
The Tigers lost the second game 11-3.
“The game was much closer than the score reflects as we went into the seventh with a score of 6-3,” Williams said. “More errors and some other mental mistakes produced a very bad top of the seventh and put the game out of reach but even then the guys played hard to the end. We have much to work on but they are all committed and I believe we will improve each day. Hulse had a great game offensively which sparked the rest of the team to hit better in the second game. He went with the pitches he was getting and hit a couple of nice line drives into right center. The team is much better with him back this year.”
Dellinger pitched all seven innings for the Tigers with seven strikes. Thornton hit 1-4, Mirick hit 1-4 with one runner brought in, Goyette hit 1-4, Dellinger hit 1-4, Hulse hit 3-3 with a run scored, Simms hit 1-2 with one run scored and Cory hit 2-3.
Dellinger said he thought the team played well and that the second game against Chelan was definitely their best game so far this season.
“We doing well and we’re slowly coming together,” he added. “I think we’ll keep getting
Williams said he was all around very happy with the team’s effort.
“We are going to give teams some trouble this year,” he added. “Chelan is a good team and I would expect them to be at the top of the league this year but I look forward to playing them one more time. I think we may surprise them.”
As of press time, the Tigers (0-3, 4-4) had not yet played in Okanogan on Tuesday, April 12. They will next play a doubleheader in Omak on Saturday, April 16 beginning at 11 a.m.