Roadrunners Set to Play for NWAC Baseball Championship Today at Noon
LONGVIEW, Washington – It was a weekend full of action for the Linn-Benton Roadrunners, who now find themselves one win away from bringing a championship trophy home to Albany.
On Sunday, May 29, the Roadrunners defeated Lower Columbia Community College 2-1. The game featured a great pitchers duel between Roadrunner Kaden Miller and Red Devil Michael Schwarz. Miller went 7 innings, allowing 1 run on 3 hits, walking 1, while striking out 7. Schwarz went 7 ⅔ innings, allowing 1 run on 4 hits, walking 2, while striking out 3.
Offensively it came down to the final innings for either of these teams to budge. In the bottom of the eighth inning, Roadrunner Jake Morrow shot a ball towards Red Devils first baseman Liam Kerr. Kerr was unable to corral it, and the ball rolled into the right outfield, allowing Roadrunner pinch runner Tyler Pfeifer to come around and score the winning run.
“We knew it was going to be a great team. On both sides it felt like a dogfight. It was a great overall win,” Morrow said.
Roadrunner pitcher Brady Baltus picked up the save, closing out the Red Devils in the final innings. Baltus went 2 innings, allowing 1 hit, walking 2, while striking out 2.
“I was saying let my defense do the work, these boys have been playing outstanding defense all year. Offense got some runs on the board, and we got a lead when I came in so I just had to come in and do my job,” Baltus said.
The Roadrunners win against the Red Devils automatically awarded them a spot in the championship game on Tuesday.
On Monday, May 30, the Roadrunners fell to Everett Community College 15-7.
The Trojans started off hot, scoring 6 runs in the third inning. Roadrunner pitcher Boone Rush went 2 innings, allowing 5 runs on 5 hits and walking 2. The Trojans added on another run in the top half of the sixth to make it a 8-2 ballgame heading into the seventh.
The Roadrunners were able to rally, however, in the seventh and eighth inning. In the bottom of the seventh inning Roadrunner JJ Hoover singled to left field with the bases loaded, scoring Cayden Delozier. Two more unearned runs were able to score off a throwing error by Trojans left fielder Jordan Justice. In the eighth inning, the Roadrunners loaded the bases, this time for a Ruben Cedillo 2-RBI single. Heading into the ninth inning, the Roadrunners were trailing 8-7. The Trojans put the game away by scoring 7 runs in the top of the ninth inning.
The Roadrunners loss guaranteed that the championship game would be played on Tuesday. The Trojans win kept their championship hopes alive for one more game. Immediately following the victory, the Trojans took on Mt.Hood Community College. The winner would advance to the championship game and play the Roadrunners.
Saints pitcher Hiroyuki Yamada came out and dominated on the mound, giving Mt.Hood a slim 2-1 victory over Lower Columbia. Yamada went 9 innings, allowing 1 run on 4 hits, walking 1, while striking out 7.
The NWAC Baseball Championship game is now set between Linn-Benton Community College and Mt. Hood Community College on Tuesday at David Story Field, 1700-1740 19th Ave. in Longview. First pitch is at noon. The Roadrunners took 3 of 4 games from the Saints earlier in the year.
For more details, see nwacsports.org.
PHOTO CAPTION: Roadrunner pitcher Brady Baltus and catcher Jake Morrow celebrate a win against Lower Columbia College on Sunday, May 29. Photo by Carsyn Meyers