Four Olympia High School pitchers combined to scatter eight hits as the Bears defeated host North Thurston, 5-1, in non-league baseball Friday.
Ben Pedigo led Olympia’s offense, going 3 for 3, scoring two runs and driving in another.
“North Thurston’s a strong 3A team,” Olympia coach Steve Roth said. “This gave us a chance to work on some situational things. The first two pitchers we threw were starters on pitch counts, the closer is the guy who usually closes for us and Tristan Haider hadn’t had a chance to pitch since the jamboree.”
Left-hander Fred Carpenter started for the Bears (10-2) and gave up North Thurston’s only run when Tyler Parchem singled home Josh Congdon in the bottom of the first. But Carpenter showed a deadly pickoff move, catching Rams baserunners off first in both the first and second innings.
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“We had some reads on their baserunners and some good timing,” Roth said of the successful pickoffs.
Christian Valdez followed Carpenter with 2 2/3 shutout innings before Haider retired the only three batters he faced. Jacob Bowser nailed down the final two outs.
Congdon, the Rams starter, took the loss but did some good work as well. He limited the Bears to five hits across the first six innings and struck out five, including the side in the fourth inning.
Olympia struck with two outs in the first to take a 2-0 lead and never looked back.
Pedigo singled, Dalton Elliott walked and Brenden Nee reached on an error to load the bases. Valdez was hit by a pitch and Thomas Upson walked to force in the runs.
After the Rams (8-6) picked up their one run in the bottom of the inning, Olympia scored in the second on an RBI single by Pedigo.
The Bears’ final two runs came in the fifth. Pedigo and Elliott blasted back-to-back doubles over the head of North Thurston outfielders. Elliott moved to third on a wild pitch and came home on a RBI grounder by Nee.
North Thurston’s top hitters on the day were Ethan Connelly and Caleb Congdon, who each had two hits, including a double by Congdon.
Olympia returns to 4A Narrows play, where the Bears are a half-game behind first-place Gig Harbor, at Timberline on Monday.
“It’s got to be one game at a time from here on out,” Roth said. “Timberline’s a good team, we’ve got to go over to their place and earn it.”
North Thurston, part of a three-way tie atop the 3A Narrows standings with Central Kitsap and Capital at 8-0 in league play, has a two-game series with Wilson next week, at home on Monday and in Tacoma on Wednesday.
Olympia 2 1 0 0 2 0 0 – 5 6 0
North Thurston 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 – 1 8 2
WP – Fred Carpenter (2 2/3 IP 2 pickoffs) LP – Josh Congdon (6IP, 5H 4K). O – Ben Pedigo 3-3 (2B, 2R, RBI), Dalton Elliott 2-3 (2B, 2R, RBI). NT – Ethan Connelly 2-3. Caleb Congdon 2-3 (2B).