In a crucial conference matchup against Green River Community College, Centralia baseball defeated the Gators in three of four matchups Sunday and Monday to move into fourth place in conference.
Now, headed into the final series of the regular season against Grays Harbor this weekend, the Blazers (16-23, 6-15 NWAC) can clinch the fourth seed in the West region outright with two wins.
In the first game against the Gators, the Blazers came out fast and put five runs in the seventh inning to slam the door on any kind of comeback, with Casen Taggert and River Terry each knocking in three runs. The Blazers took home the 13-6 victory.
In the second game Sunday, the Blazers won a 2-1 pitcher’s duel, with Derek Beairsto pitching nearly the whole game, going six innings with one earned run on three hits with six strikeouts, and Brockton Keller relieving him for one shutout inning for the save.
“Great two wins today,” Centralia CC coach Ben Harley said. “Game 1 we did a great job at the plate putting up 13 runs, and had some timely relief pitching. In Game 2, Derek Beairsto did a great job of attacking their hitters and gave us 6 strong innings on the mound.”
The Blazers dropped their lone game of the series in the third game on Monday, losing in 10 innings after a walk-off hit from the Gators. Bennett Comes had two RBIs in the loss.
But Centralia bounced back to take the series win in the fourth game, with Matthew Obst serving up a great performance on the mound, striking out 11 in 6 ⅔ innings pitched. Andrew Dalton added a 2 for 4 line with two runs scored and an RBI.
“After dropping a close Game 3 we knew we needed to come out and get a win,” Harley said. “Matt Obst was great on the mound again for us, and Kobe Matsen closed the door. We made it interesting at the end but came away with the win regardless. Solid weekend all around winning three of four. Next weekend we control our playoff fate when we go up against Grays Harbor.”
That series will start on Saturday at 10 a.m. in Grays Harbor, before moving to Centralia on Sunday at 1 p.m.