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Elma baseball ends season one game shy of regional

Brendan Carl | The Vidette Elma’s Ricky Escalante looks to put the tag on Hoquiam’s Sammy Lowder during the Grizzlies’ 3-0 win over the Eagles on Friday.Buy Photo
Brendan Carl | The Vidette Elma’s Ricky Escalante looks to put the tag on Hoquiam’s Sammy Lowder during the Grizzlies’ 3-0 win over the Eagles on Friday.

It wasn’t for a lack of baserunners, but runs that Elma lost to Hoquiam on Friday.

After rallying in the seventh inning to beat Toledo/Winlock 7-5 in the first game of the District IV Class 1A baseball tournament, the Eagles dropped their second game of the tournament against Rochester 5-3 to set up a matchup against the Grizzlies for a spot in the regional playoff. Hoquiam won the first meeting between the two teams back on April 2, but Elma had won the last two contests.

Despite only getting two hits in the game, Elma would strand a total of 10 baserunners losing 3-0 to finish the season with a 15-8 record.

“We just didn’t get the job done and that is all there was to it,” coach Scott Rowland said. “We gave them baserunners with a couple errors and made some baserunning mistakes of our own and we didn’t hit the ball as well as we would have liked to. It is tough to beat a team three times. We beat Hoquiam twice and it is tough to get the third win anytime against anybody. They made all of the miles out of everything they had so you tip your hat. They outplayed us today.”

A walk, sacrifice bunt and a fielding error helped Hoquiam score the first run in the third inning, but Elma had a chance to tie the game up in the next inning with runners on first and second with no outs. The Eagles stayed off the board as a ground out and a strikeout were followed by a base runner getting tagged out at second base after he overran the base on a long single.

Elma would have another scoring opportunity in the sixth inning when the Grizzlies walked the bases loaded with no outs, but once again the Eagles would fail to score as two strikeouts were followed by a runner getting picked off at first base.

“If you take a look at how many baserunners we had, we still had opportunities and we just didn’t get the job done,” Rowland said.

While the season may not have ended exactly how the Eagles would have liked, Rowland said he is proud of the effort the team, and especially his seniors, gave in the last four weeks of the season. Elma began the season with a league record of 4-5 before heating up in the final 9 games.

“When we were 4-5 nobody gave us a prayer of being here,” Rowland said. “They had ran off 8 in a row and that is something to be proud of. They are a good group of seniors and they turned attitudes around down the homestretch. They are going to be missed.”