Five-run flurry puts Select squad in command
|Mt. Hood Select 19U|
|Columbia Gorge Hustlers|
The Mt. Hood Select 19U summer baseball team pushed its win streak to three games with an 11-3 home win over the Columbia Gorge Hustlers on Wednesday night.
The teams were locked into a 2-2 score before Mt. Hood broke the game open with a five-run spurt in the bottom of the fourth inning. The team batted through the lineup with its first seven hitters all reaching base, moving ahead for good on Casey Young's single to center field. Evan Olson, who will be playing at Corban University when school resumes, followed with a two-run line drive also to dead center.
"They put in a pitcher who was a little easier to read, and we got aggressive and put the bat on the ball," Olson said. "That gave us the room we needed to relax out there and not be so tense."
Olson would shift the pressure to the Hustlers' side when he stole second base, which opened the door for teammate Tommy Hemmer to sprint home with another run. Not long after, Olson would score himself, diving across the plate head first on a wild pitch to make the margin 7-2.
Stuart Weber knocked a double to left field, his second of the game, to push across another run in the sixth inning.
The Select squad was closing in on the mercy rule in the eighth inning after loading the bases with nobody out. J.J. Buehler's double to center field put Mt. Hood in front 11-2, but back-to-back strikeouts would strand the game-ending run at third base.
Columbia Gorge got one run back in the ninth, but any hopes for a comeback were dashed when Olson gloved a high hopper on the mound and made a simple toss to first base to retire the only batter he faced.
Weber got the start for Mt. Hood and struck out 11 batters through six innings. He turned back an early threat when he struck out the last batter in the third inning to strand the go-ahead run at second base.
Mt. Hood held the Hustlers to zeroes in seven of the nine innings and retired the side in order twice.
"I just thought we were the better team, and our pitching was good today," Mt. Hood manager Chris Fitzgerald said. "When we are throwing strikes, we are in pretty good shape."
Offensively, Buehler, Weber and Jack Nehler came up with multiple hits for Mt. Hood.
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The Select 19U team scored a 7-4 win over Westview's Robinson Construction team on Monday night, taking a 4-1 lead midway through the game on back-to-back run-producing doubles by J. J.J. Buehler and Logan Travis.
Westview tied the game in the seventh only to see Mt. Hood snatch the lead back in the seventh and put it out of reach in the eighth on a fielder's choice by Kyle Fitzgerald, followed by a sacrifice fly to center field by Buehler.
Fitzgerald was the only Select player with multiple hits, going 2-for-4 with two RBIs from the top of the order. He went six innings on the mound and struck out seven batters before relievers Jay Klein and Yoon Saechao combined for four more strikeouts to finish off the win.
This story is slated for our Friday, July 12, print edition.
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