The Chewelah Cougars advanced to the trophy rounds of the Washington State American Legion Baseball Tournament on Monday at Rogers High School in Spokane by crushing Lake Stevens 12-2 in their final game of pool play.
The Cougars won two of their three games in pool play and moved into Tuesday’s games as the number one seed from the American Division. They are one of eight teams that moved forward into the loser-out quarterfinal round of the event.
Chewelah opened tournament play on Saturday with a 7-3 victory over Eastmont. They lost a 5-2 game to Elma on Sunday. Then, on Monday, they 10-runned Lake Stevens in four innings to earn their ticket into the quarterfinals.
Chewelah 7, Eastmont 3
Chewelah opened the tournament on Saturday with a 10-hit barrage that notched a 7-3 win over Eastmont.
With the score knotted at two runs apiece after four innings, the Cougars used three singles and a double to grab a 6-2 lead. Carl Oman, Johnny Larson and Dylan Davis smashed singles. Larson’s hit scored Oman, Pearson Grooms batted in Davis, and a double off the bat of Zach Kubik brought in Larson and Grooms.
Back in the first inning, Oman scored the first Cougar run. He got on base on an Eastmont error, was bunted over to third base by Larson, and went home on a balk. In the second inning, Ethan Rowe was issued a walk and was moved over to second base by Davis. Jerry Kramer then hit a double that scored Rowe, giving Chewelah an early 2-0 lead.
Oman hit his second single of the game in the sixth inning. He was advanced to second base by Kramer and on to third base by Kubik. A single by Grooms sent Oman home with the final run of the game for a 7-3 Chewelah victory.
Oman, Grooms, and Davis each had two hits. Larson pitched a complete game for the Cougars, throwing seven innings, allowing six hits and three runs.
Elma 5, Chewelah 2
The Cougars stranded nine base runners in Sunday’s game against Elma. Chewelah’s inability to bring runners home, along with four untimely errors in the middle innings, led to a 5-2 loss on the second day of the tournament.
Dylan Davis threw the entire seven innings for the Cougars, yielding six hits and three earned runs, while striking out six Elma batters. Unfortunately, after such a good performance on the mound, he was tagged with the pitching loss.
Chewelah held a 1-0 lead after two innings of play. Davis singled and was bunted into scoring position by Tayeb Wilson. Jerry Kramer batted him in.
With Wilson on base, Carl Oman singled, giving the Cougars a pair of base runners on the corners, but they were marooned.
Elma scored two runs in the third inning and two more in the fourth at-bat to take over the lead, 4-1.
Chewelah scored one more run. Wilson singled and immediately stole second base. He advanced to third base on an error and was batted in by Kramer, notching his second RBI of the game.
The Cougars left base runners in the third, fifth, sixth, and seventh innings.
Carl Oman finished the game with two hits and a pair of stolen bases.
With Sunday’s loss, Chewelah dropped to a 1-1 record. Elma was also 1-1, as were Lake Stevens and Eastmont, the other teams in the pool.
Chewelah 12, Lake Stevens 2
Chewelah took the lead, 3-1, with five singles in the top of the second inning. Ethan Rowe, Jerry Kramer, and Johnny Larson hit the first three one-baggers to load the bases with one out. Zach Kubik batted in the first two runs with a fourth single that scored Rowe and Kramer. Grooms swatted the fifth single, bringing Larson home.
The Cougars added another run in the third inning. Rowe was issued a base on balls, was moved to second base by Kramer’s single, and was batted in by Oman. The run gave Chewelah a 4-1 lead. In the first inning, the Cougars had the bases loaded, but they could not get any runners batted in. Larson and Zarren Nelson hit singles, and Kubik was hit by a pitch.
Larson came to bat in the fifth inning with the bases loaded, and Chewelah milked the situation for eight runs. Larson was hit by a pitch, scoring Rowe. Kubik singled, bringing Wilson home. A walk issued to Grooms sent Kramer home. Larson then scored from third base on a triple steal.
The rally continued with Nelson, Davis, and Oman being hit by pitches, scoring three more Cougar base runners. In the end, Chewelah added eight more runs, putting a 11-run spread on the scoreboard, 12-1.
Lake Stevens scored a run in the bottom of the fifth inning, but it was not enough to continue the game. Chewelah won 12-2 on the 10-run rule.
Justin Rollis threw the five innings. He earned the win on the mound, allowing two runs and four hits.
The Cougars hammered 11 hits, including two apiece by Larson, Kubik, Nelson, Kramer, and Rowe.
Chewelah came up one run short in the district championship game the previous week, eventually losing to Whitman County by a 4-3 score in the tournament finale.
Trailing 4-2 going into the sixth inning, the Cougars rallied for one run and left two runners on base. Pearson Grooms was walked and then was bunted over to second base by Dylan Davis. A bunt single from Tayeb Wilson moved Grooms to third base.
With two outs, Jerry Kramer hit a single over third base, scoring Grooms and advancing Wilson to second base. However, a ground out ended the rally and the inning, stranding two base runners and leaving Chewelah on the short end of a 4-3 final score.
The Cougars had an early 2-1 lead, but Whitman County scored one run in the second inning and two more in the third. A double by Zach Kubik and a single from Zarren Nelson batted in the two Chewelah runs in the first inning, bringing home Carl Oman and Justin Rollis.
The game had several outstanding plays from both teams, making it a proper championship encounter.
By Geno Ludwig/The Independent Staff