Nothing was in the tank offensively for the Tumwater Thunderbirds on Thursday. Not against a Centralia team seeking its first 2A Evergreen Conference baseball victory, and not against Tigers starter Jake Sutton, who was poised to keep the T-Birds’ lineup off balance all game.
The right-hander needed just 67 pitches to throw a complete-game, three-hit shutout in the Tigers’ 7-0 conference win — the team’s first.
Sutton also played a part in the offense, which did its job of getting him some run support with a six-run fourth inning to break open what had been a 1-0 game after three.
Centralia (3-1 overall, 1-1 2A EvCo) sent 11 batters to the plate in the fourth, starting with a Christian Peters walk. The bases quickly loaded after back-to-back bunt singles from Hodges Bailey and Jacob Monohon, then two walks plus an error made it a 5-0 game. Sutton’s RBI base hit to right field ended Tumwater starter Riley Owen’s day after three-plus innings and Tumwater trailing 6-0. Five of Centralia’s eight hits came in the fourth inning.
“It got away from us too fast,” said Tumwater coach Clay Hill, whose team suffered its first defeat after a 5-0 start.