4A baseball: Bears blow up Eagles, stay alive in playoffs

mwochnick@theolympian.comMay 14, 2014 

KENT — Ask any of the Olympia Bears about their hitting, and the consensus answer likely is: It can be a work in progress at times.

But Tyler Wambold points out a big factor.

“When it comes through,” he said, “it comes through.”

It did in two innings in particular during the Bears’ 4A West Central/Southwest bidistrict baseball playoff game against Graham-Kapowsin Tuesday afternoon. That, combined with two double plays turned by the defense, gave the Bears a 3-1 victory at Russell Road Park.

Olympia (10-12) stays alive for at least another day. The Bears face Kentridge at 4 p.m. Wednesday at Kent’s Art Wright Park in another bidistrict loser-out game.

“We feel like we’re on a roll and we feel like we can go far,” said Wambold, the Bears’ starting catcher, who went 2-for-3 with two RBIs.

The Bears faced what coach Steve Roth called one of the top pitchers around in junior C.J. Blowers, the son of former Mariners infielder-turned-club broadcaster Mike Blowers. But Olympia outhit Graham-Kapowsin, 9-7, and sent seven batters to the plate in the third and fifth innings.

Wambold’s two-run single with the bases loaded in the third inning gave the Bears a 2-0 lead, then after Wambold was intentionally walked in the fifth to again load the bases, a wild pitch to Leif Hansen scored Josh Allen to push its 2-1 advantage to 3-1.

“That kid is a stud on the mound,” said third baseman Matt Anthony. “We came out with the mentality that we’re going to hit it and jump on the first pitch.”

After Trevor Asbjornsen scored in the fourth after reaching base on an error, the Eagles (11-10) loaded the bases in the seventh on two walks and a single, but the Bears got a 4-6-3 double play to end the game.

An inning earlier, an around-the-horn double play made for a quick final outing for Olympia starter Hansen, who allowed one run on five hits and struck out three over six innings.

He retired five of the final six batters he faced, but G-K stranded eight batters through six innings before grounding into the game-ending double play against reliever Jacob Jasperson.

Meg Wochnick: 360-754-5473 mwochnick@theolympian.com theolympian.com/ southsoundsports @megwochnick

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