Sports

White River Baseball: Postseason within Hornets’ grasp

White River High baseball coach Mike Williams appraised his team’s effort recently as being clutch and playing just well enough to win. While conceding his diamond dogs had experienced a successful week winning 2 out of 3, Williams is not convinced the Hornets have played their best baseball yet.

“I think we are going to have to ratchet our play up one more notch than I know we are capable of to make sure we earn a postseason berth this week, because we have a very competitive week ahead,” he said.

Having already traveled to Bonney Lake Tuesday with the results of that game coming too late to include here, White River hosts Sumner at 4 p.m. today, Wednesday, at White River High and wraps up its regular season traveling to Enumclaw’s Osborne Field at 7 p.m. Friday.

Williams maintained he was proud of his troops for shoring things up and filling the void left by the injury to Payden Lamb, certainly one of the better outfielders in the league.

“Everyone is doing what they can to keep things on track,” he said. “That injury to Lamb sort of took the wind out of our sails for a bit, because he was an important cog in the White River machine and a real leader for us.”

This last week of the regular campaign features a congested middle of the standings as Franklin Pierce pulled away to move into a clear third place slot in the league after handing White River its only loss, 8-3, April 22, improving FPHS’ mark to 8-4.

The Hornets made it interesting in the bottom of the sixth stanza as they drew to within two runs of the Cards at 5-3. But FPHS surged offensively in the top of the seventh to score another trio of runs and crystallize the score at 8-3, as they were able to subdue White River in the bottom of the seventh frame.

But White River, which had beaten Lakes earlier in the week 5-3, quickly left the setback at the hands of the Cardinals in its rearview mirror, coming back Friday to trim the Seahawks’ wings, 9-8.

White River trailed 5-0 going into the bottom of the second inning, but thanks to some timely hitting by Hornet junior, second baseman Michael Anastasi, who belted a two RBI double, White River was able to charge back and knot the score at five all.

Down 8-7 in the bottom of the sixth, White River’s Dustin Stroud crushed a sacrifice fly to score Anastasi from third, to tie the game once more at eight. Kameron Kujawa then put the narrow clutch victory on ice with an RBI single to score Connor Williams from third, putting WRHS up 9-8.

Everyday Hornet’s shortstop Williams, who had actually been called upon to perform from the hill in a rare emergency long relief capacity since the third inning, shut Peninsula down in the top of the seventh for the conquest over the Seahawks.

Reach John Leggett at jleggett@courierherald.com or 360-802-8207.

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