WRHS BASEBALL: White River claims second place by winning close ones

Good teams, opposed to their mediocre counterparts, continuously find ways to win the close ones.

With the exception of one game, a heartbreaking 6-3 setback at the hands of Auburn Mountainview’s Lions March 23, that is precisely what White River’s baseball team has done. That ability has the Hornets sharing second place with a 4-1 South Puget Sound League 3A mark heading into this short week of baseball action.

The Hornets, who sit at 7-1 overall, quickly put their initial loss of this otherwise successful campaign behind them, shutting out the Lancers 5-0 at Lakes High March 24 and then trimming the Franklin Pierce Cardinals 8-7 Friday.

Starting catcher Dan Smith discovered he is equally proficient at giving as he is at receiving, as he scattered four hits and walked none in blanking the Lancers on their own turf.

Additionally, Smith fanned a half dozen Lakes batters as he was credited with his first victory.

Against Franklin Pierce, the Hornets fell behind 3-1 after two innings and White River’s starting twirler gave way to senior Hornet pitcher Tyson Erickson, who shouldered the pitching chores for some long relief. Erickson finished the remaining five frames in the cliffhanger that was narrowly won thanks in part also to critical hitting efforts by Hornet seniors Connor Williams and Dustin Stroud who both went 3-for-4 at the plate.