An early extra-base-hit barrage from host Tumwater helped the Thunderbirds defeat school district rival Black Hills, 8-2, on Tuesday afternoon in Class 2A Evergreen Conference baseball.
Three of Tumwater’s first four hits off Black Hills starter Trevor Query were for extra bases. Sophomore left fielder Noah Sirkel drilled line-drive doubles in the first and third innings to help build the T-Birds’ lead to 2-0.
The hard hits to the outfield were a welcome sight for the recent new resident from Las Vegas, who recently changed his batting stance to find more power.
“I just found it,” Sirkel said. “I tried something different.”
Sirkel and Keenan Milligan had two hits each as Tumwater (6-2 overall, 2-1 EvCo) had seven hits and a four-run fifth inning to pull away and win its first game in three tries.
“We need to get our bats going,” Sirkel said. “It seems like we haven’t swung the bats well. We swung the bats well today.”
While Black Hills (4-3, 2-1) left seven runners on base, the bottom third of the lineup did the heavy lifting in the fourth inning down two runs. The No. 7 hitter and seventh hitter to the plate in the inning, Cole Lester, hit a two-out, two-run infield single to tie the game in an inning in which Tumwater turned a 6-4-3 double play two batters in.
Starter Logan Chase allowed only the two earned runs on five hits in his 42/3 innings and exited with a 4-2 lead, and reliever Joseph Brascher struck out four batters and did not allow a hit in 21/3 innings.
The two runs by Black Hills were the second fewest on the season. The Wolves averaged 11.4 runs in five of their first six games and were the only EvCo team to start 2-0.
“I really think that’s more of who we are than what we showed up with today,” Black Hills coach Todd Venable said. “(Tuesday) was a little rough. ... Everything wasn’t working.”
Tumwater joined Black Hills and Centralia atop the 2A EvCo standings for a day at 2-1 before Wednesday afternoon’s rematch between the T-Birds and Wolves.
Tuesday’s other highlights