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.”
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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
Baseball: North Thurston remains undefeated in Class 3A Narrows League play at 6-0 after its 7-6 victory over Shelton behind Josh Congdon’s 2-for-3 performance. Senior Michael Cole picked up the win on the mound for the Rams. Mitchell Johnson went 2-for-3 with two doubles and two RBI for the Highclimbers. … Thayer Murphy’s win on the mound keeps River Ridge in a third-place tie in the 2A SPSL at 5-2 after the Hawks’ 5-3 victory over Franklin Pierce.
Boys soccer: Casey Duff’s five goals helped propel Black Hills to a 6-2 win over Centralia in 2A Evergreen Conference boys soccer to lift the Wolves’ conference mark to 2-0 and 3-3-3 overall.
Fastpitch: Despite Tumwater committing eight errors as a team, junior catcher Kelsey Killough’s walk-off home run in the eighth inning helped the T-Birds to a 14-13 extra-inning victory over Centralia in 2A Evergreen Conference fastpitch, as Killough had a double and home run in two at-bats and five RBI. Kaylee Clark, Jennifer Rossman and Jocelyn Glasgo also had two hits apiece as Tumwater improved to 5-2. “We didn’t play well, but the girls hung in there,” coach Doug Nedrow said. “You would call that an ugly W, but it’s a W.”
Girls tennis: Ali Topp (No. 1 singles) and Sydney Pham (No. 2) each swept their singles matches 6-0, 6-0 to help Olympia top South Kitsap, 4-1, in 4A Narrows League action.
Girls golf: Audrey Marlatt’s 5-over-par helped North Thurston to a 104-76 nonleague victory over Timberline in girls golf at Indians Summer Golf and Country Club.