Stadium wanted no part in being eliminated in the first round of districts for the second straight year. The Tigers were aggressive from the start, taking advantage of defensive miscues on the way to routing Emerald Ridge 12-4 at Russell Road Park on May 8 to advance to the second round of districts in another loser-out game, which was to be played May 9 against Skyview. The game was scheduled to occur after press time. An update is now posted on TacomaWeekly.com.
Senior starter Chris Bower pitched a complete game, allowing just three earned runs on three hits, with three walks and a strikeout to lead the charge.
“Our pitcher was on, and we were hitting the ball,” said Stadium head coach Chuck Peterson. “I think our defense is going to win things for us. You saw that.”
The Tigers jumped on Emerald Ridge starter Kort Skoda early, as Austen Brand hit a sacrifice fly to score Adam Lensegrav in the first, and Tyler Stumph followed two batters later with a double to score Patrick Minzel. Minzel’s grounder off the glove of third baseman Derek Riley plated Matt Gunn and Brannon Ronia, and Jacob Vieth followed two batters later with another grounder off the glove of second baseman Roger Merrell to score Minzel and Brand and made it 6-0.
“I must say, our bats really came alive today,” said Bower. “That’s what a pitcher loves, to see his team supporting him with runs.”
Bower ran into trouble in the fourth when Emerald Ridge loaded the bases with nobody out and Stadium leading 9-1, and after walking in a run he retired the side on two ground outs and a sacrifice fly to retain a 9-4 lead.
“This is his senior year, and this is where we wanted him to carry us, and he’s really stepped up and done his job,” said Peterson of Bower. “I was really proud of him. He’s really had a tough time. This year, he’s really matured a lot.”
Darian Hunter, Lensegrav and Ronia added run-scoring singles in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings, respectively, and Bower used sterling defense from his infield – especially Stumph at third base – to retire the last 12 Emerald Ridge batters he faced.
“They’ve always been a strong infield for me, they work so well with my type of pitching,” Bower said. “I always have a lot of contact (against me)…and they always seem to pick me up.”
Stumph finished 3-for-4 with two RBIs, Brand was 2-for-3 with three runs scored and two RBIs and Ronia added two RBIs for the Tigers.
“They’re a good team,” said Peterson of Emerald Ridge. “They kept on fighting to come back, but we just did the right things at the right time. This is the time you want to peak.”
STADIUM 12, EMERALD RIDGE 4
|Adam Lensegrav LF||5||2||2||1||0||0|
|Patrick Minzel SS||4||2||1||0||1||1|
|Austen Brand CF||3||3||2||2||1||0|
|Jacob Vieth 1B||4||1||1||0||0||1|
|Tyler Stumph 3B||4||0||3||2||1||1|
|Darian Hunter DH||4||1||1||1||1||0|
|Matt Gunn C||4||0||0||0||1||1|
|Cash Russell CR||0||1||0||0||0||0|
|Brannon Ronia 2B||3||1||1||2||2||1|
|Hayden Taylor CR||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Michael Van Orden RF||3||1||0||0||1||0|
SAC: Van Orden
SB: Lensegrav 2, Minzel, Brand, Hunter 2
|Landon Packard SS||3||0||0||0||0||0|
|Roger Merrell 2B||3||0||1||1||0||0|
|Kort Skoda P||1||0||0||0||1||0|
|Jordan Stoner CR||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Kyle Drugge P||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Zach Smith PH-1B||1||0||0||0||0||0|
|Alex Hardy RF||3||1||1||0||0||0|
|Kyle Rossman 1B-P||2||0||0||0||1||0|
|Cody Anderson CR||0||1||0||0||0||0|
|Derek Riley 3B||3||1||0||0||0||0|
|Darrell Wilson CF||2||0||0||1||1||1|
|Garrett Metz LF||3||1||1||1||0||0|
|Nathan Horne C||1||0||0||1||0||0|
|Jake Sommer PH||1||0||0||0||0||0|
E: Packard 2, Riley, Merrell, Horne
|Kort Skoda(L)||3 1/3||7||9||4||3||1|
|Kyle Drugge||1 2/3||2||1||1||3||1|