The Sideline

The Wilson Rams took advantage of some wildness from Shelton starting pitcher Jared Welander in both the fifth and seventh innings and held on to beat the High Climbers 10-6 on Thursday afternoon at the Narrows 3A tournament in Lacey.

Welander would last six and one-third innings on the afternoon, walking 12 hitters in the process. Wilson starter Jared Horner survived a rocky start of his own in the first inning, walking the first two hitters while an infield error loaded the bases with nobody out. But Horner and the Rams survived, giving up only one run in the inning.

The Rams’ offense, meanwhile, could manage only two hits off Welander until the fifth, when the Shelton southpaw’s control went south. Welander walked six hitters in the inning and when the damage was through, the Rams managed to scratch out five runs for a 6-1 lead. Horner’s control would deceive him in the bottom half of the fifth, giving up four runs to trim the lead to 6-5.

But Wilson would close it out in the seventh, scoring four times with Cameron Ficca’s two-run double down the left field line being the key strike. Evan Stout relieved Horner with one out in the seventh to get the final two outs and preserve the win for the Rams.

“We gutted this one out,” said Wilson head coach Doug Rupe. “The guys fought hard, especially Horner, who did not have his best stuff today but made the big pitches when he had to.”

The win claimed the third seed to districts for the Rams, as they will play on Tuesday afternoon at 4 p.m. at Heidelberg Field in Tacoma.

In a game full of scoring chances, it was Jesus Perez's diving header in the 63rd minute that gave Foss a wild 3-2 win over Wilson at Stadium Bowl tonight, helping boost the Falcons' chance at the district playoffs.

Foss got several good looks early, but Wilson got on the board first after Munassar Saleh was taken out in the box in the 11th minute. Oswald Ramos' resulting penalty kick was deflected out by Foss keeper Sergio Barajas, but Andres Coronado was there to send in the deflection to make it 1-0.

Saleh had a shot hit the post in the 27th minute, while Foss' Rene Ramos had his header nail the left post in the 31st minute. Ramos made amends in the 39th minute though, striking for a goal to equalize.

Wilson went back on top 10 minutes after halftime, as midfielder Zach Schneider sent a shot from 25 yards out that bounced just in front of Barajas, who misjudged it and couldn't make the save. But Pablo Santos equalized immediately with a shot for the ages. The senior midfielder took a short pass off the kickoff and drilled an arcing shot from midfield that went off the post, off Wilson keeper Matvey Shitik and into the net to make it 2-2.

Santos was then able to help give the Falcons the lead in the 63rd minute. After sending a cross that Perez headed just right of goal moments earlier, Santos duplicated the play, with Perez's header this time finding the right netting to give Foss the lead for good.

Each team had several breakaway opportunities during a frenetic final 15 minutes, but the Falcons were able to hold out for the key win. Coupled with Mount Tahoma's win at Timberline, the Falcons and Thunderbirds sat tied for fourth in the Narrows 3A with six wins. Wilson sits tied for first place with North Thurston, but the duo is just three points ahead of Foss and Mount Tahoma, while Shelton sits in second place just one point behind. Wilson hosts Shelton on Tuesday night, while Foss plays at Lincoln.

Five different Stadium players scored as the Tigers notched a 5-1 win at Bellarmine Prep this afternoon to stay in first in the Narrows 4A soccer standings.

Andrew Foreman got the Tigers on the board in the 21st minute, breaking a way on the right side and sending a low shot past Lions keeper Jacob Hillyer. Max Harvey made it 2-0 four minutes later after stealing a pass just outside the Bellarmine box, moving right past two defenders and drilling a shot between Hillyer and the right post.

Bellarmine’s best chance to score in the first half came in the 26th minute when Dacin Titus sent a nice chip over the Bellarmine defense and through keeper Ian Fry, but Alex Schneller slipped before he could get a shot off.

The Tigers increased it to 3-0 two minutes after halftime when Harvey’s header at goal was mishandled by Hillyer, and Garrett Harp sent in the follow-up shot on the back post. Ikeda put the game on ice in the 56th minute, swiftly moving around three defenders near the left of the box and squeezing a shot into the left side of goal.

The Lions finally got on the scoreboard in the 65th minute when Brendan Hartley outraced the Tigers’ defense and drove a shot into the left side. Jacob Beardemphl added Stadium’s final tally in the 77th minute.

The Tigers remain two points ahead of Central Kitsap in the league standings, as they will travel to face the Cougars on Tuesday in a match that will determine the Narrows 4A champion. The Lions’ loss, coupled with a draw tonight between Gig Harbor and South Kitsap, officially eliminates the Lions from postseason contention. They finish the season with a home match against Olympia on Tuesday at 5 p.m.

The Seattle Mariners today announced that Tacoma Rainiers manager Daren Brown has been added to the Mariners Major League coaching staff. John Stearns will assume managing responsibilities with the Rainiers beginning tonight when the team faces the Tucson Padres at 7 p.m.

Stearns was in his second season serving as the Mariners Minor League Catching Coordinator prior to joining the Rainiers and his 2013 campaign marks his fourth season since joining Seattle as a pro scout in 2009. He is in his 39th season of professional baseball after previously serving as a scout, manager, coach, roving instructor, player and broadcaster.

This marks Stearns' first managerial stint since serving as the skipper at Double-A Harrisburg in 2009, where he also managed in both 2006 and 2008. His previous stops as a manager included stays at Triple-A Columbus (2007), Triple-A Norfolk (2004), Double-A Binghamton (2003), Single-A Princeton (1994) and Double-A Knoxville (1990-91).

Brown was in his eighth season managing at Tacoma since first joining the Rainiers in 2007. He leaves the club as Tacoma’s all-time winningest manager after establishing a 433-429 (.502) record through 1,708 games as the Rainiers skipper.

The Rainiers are currently riding an eight-game winning streak – their longest streak since 2010.

There was more at stake than just the rubber match from the season series when Wilson met Foss yesterday at the 3A Narrows League tournament in Lacey. Brady O’Keefe threw a complete-game five-hitter and Thomas Narisahn went 3-for-4 with two RBIs as the Rams punched their ticket to the district tournament with a 7-1 win, ending the Falcons’ season in the process.

The Rams now await the loser of the North Thurston-Shelton game – played on Wednesday – with the winner of that game claiming the third seed to District play next Tuesday through Saturday. The Rams will play the winner of that matchup on Thursday afternoon at 4 p.m. at the RAC in Lacey.

“We played a complete game today, we kept the heat on Foss all game long,” said Wilson head coach Doug Rupe, who also praised the efforts of his starting pitcher. “Brady was in command all game long. It’ll be great to get to district play next week.”

Tied 1-1 in the fifth inning, Wilson took command with a six-run outburst to put the game away, sending 11 men to the plate. O’Keefe aided his own cause with a two-run single in the frame.

All in all, it was a pretty good afternoon for the Wilson junior right hander. “I felt really good today, and was more aggressive with my secondary pitches” O’Keefe said.

With the Rams looking forward to district play next Tuesday, O’Keefe added that “there’s a real good feeling about the possibilities we can attain as a team next week. We are all looking forward to the upcoming challenges.”

Rupe put it in another perspective. “Our approach will have to stay the same at the plate, and we’ll have to continue to get the clutch two-out hits, too.”

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