Tied 6-6 in the bottom of the eighth inning, Montesano figured it would walk two of Centralia’s most dangerous hitters, No. 3 batter Cameron Erickson and cleanup hitter Paris Chavez, to load the bases and get to Gabe Seymour. It was a mistake.
With Noah Aliff already on base with a walk, Seymour stepped to the plate with the bases juiced and pummeled a walk-off single to give the Tigers a season-opening 7-6 victory on Monday at home.
“It was an exciting first game,” Centralia coach Adam Riffe said. “It was fun.”
Erickson started the game on the mound for the Tigers and had one strikeout in one inning. Freshman Landen Jenkins had four Ks in three innings, Landon Kaut added one K in two innings and Aliff fanned three in two innings. Jenkins and Seymour each had two hits offensively.
The Tigers have seven seniors and Riffe said senior leadership helped carry the team to the win.
“The leadership for our seniors is key,” Riffe said “They feed off each other and just have the ability to not give up.”
Centralia (1-0 overall) hosts Aberdeen at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday.
W.F. West ace Tanner Vaughn tossed a 14-strikeout no-hitter and the Bearcats rolled to a season-opening 6-0 victory over Shelton at home Monday.
Vaughn walked just one batter and threw six of the seven innings, only getting pulled after reaching 79 pitches. Andrew Stafford threw the final inning and walked one.
“That was definitely the story of the game,” W.F. West coach Bryan Bullock said. “He really wanted to finish, but I wanted to keep him at around 70 pitches for the first game. He really overpowered them.”
Offensively, the Bearcats were led by Andrew Stafford, who went 2-for-2 with a run, as well as Max Taylor, who went 1-for-3 with two runs. Drew Reynolds was 1-for-2 with a double and a run, Gavin Fugate was 1-for-4 with a run and Brit Lusk was 1-for-3 with a run. The Bearcats scattered eight total hits on the day.
“We put pressure on them offensively each inning,” Bullock said “We put runners on base every inning. It was a great way to start the season.”
W.F. West (1-0) travels to Rochester on Wednesday.
“We’re going to have to show up and be ready to face a great Rochester team,” Bullock said.
Nolan Eyles, Landon Hawes and R. Mason combined for 10 strikeouts on the mound for Rochester as the Warriors came away with an 8-6 victory over Black Hills at home on opening day Monday.
“Being the first game in over a year for us, it was kind of ‘Whatever happens, happens,’” Rochester coach Brad Quarnstrom said.
Eyles threw 2 ⅔ innings, striking out three and giving up one hit, one earned run and zero walks. Hawes fanned four and allowed three hits in three innings, while Mason pitched 1 ⅓ innings with three Ks, two earned runs and one hit.
“Our pitchers weren’t great but they competed extremely well,” Quarnstrom said. “Defensively we played OK. At the plate is where we struggled. A lot of balls off the end of the bat.”
Braden Hartley led the Warriors with a 2-for-4 performance at the plate with two runs scored and Hawes was 1-for-3 with a run and a walk.
The Warriors (1-0) host W.F. West (1-0) on Wednesday.