TENINO — There was no half-measure in Stone City on Tuesday. The rains stopped long enough for a truly sunny day in Tenino, the field was dry, and two experienced baseball teams took to the diamond for a back-and-forth battle.
Tenino and Black Hills didn’t ease into anything; baseball season arrived in full, with the Beavers coming back in the bottom of the sixth to nab a 7-4 non-league win.
“Baseball’s back,” Tenino coach Ryan Schlesser said. “That was fun.”
The Beavers, who held the Wolves scoreless for four innings after giving up a run in the first, led 3-1, before Black Hills rallied for three in the top of the sixth. Facing a one-run deficit, Tenino got the line moving, and didn’t slow down.
Austin Gonia drew a walk to lead off the bottom of the sixth. Easton Snider tried to sacrifice him over, but ended up at first base safely when nobody covered the bag. Brody Noonan moved everybody up 90 feet with a sharp single, and Mikey Vasser got a ball through the infield on an error that put the hosts back in front.
Jack Burkhardt kept things going with another bunt single, Kaden Sayamnet brought a run home on a groundout, and another error in the infield made it 7-4 before the Wolves could get out of the inning.
“I think that’s where we’re going to find success this year, is being able to small-ball teams and put a little pressure on them,” Schlesser said. “Make them make plays instead of just flying out or striking out.”
Suddenly three outs from the win, Schlesser kept his faith in Cody Strawn — who had given up three runs the inning prior — on the hill, and the junior took the Beavers home, albeit with a bit of a roundabout path.
“We know he’s got a bit of that dawg in him,” Schlesser said.
Strawn earned the win, allowing three runs on four hits and five walks in four innings of long relief. Noonan gave up the run in the first — loading the bases with no outs and walking a run home — but didn’t allow much else in his three innings of work.
Gonia got the Beavers on the board in the bottom of the first with an RBI double and finished 1 for 1 with a pair of walks. Will Feltus added a triple for Tenino.
Four of Black Hills’ seven hits came from the top third of the order, with Braiden Bond logging two knocks and Tanner Parkinson and Parker Termini both adding one. The first six batters in the Wolves’ lineup all drew at least one walk.
“We were threatening every inning, we just kind of lacked a clutch hit or two,” Black Hills coach Todd Venable said.
Black Hills will get its home opener Wednesday against 3A Timberline. Tenino will continue its non-league schedule at home Saturday, against 2B Rainier.