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Defending SPSL champs roll over Gators on opening day; Bocchi out after surgery
By CASEY OLSON
Mid-March baseball and fastpitch in Western Washington isnt the most comfortable way to spend an afternoon. A steady drizzle, wind and 40-degree temperatures just dont equate into the perfect conditions for playing or watching a game.
But thats just what everybody had to deal with when Tuesdays opening day around the South Puget Sound League came during the final week of winter. Thats why Major League baseball teams hold Spring Training in Arizona and Florida.
It was pretty cold and wet, Beamer head baseball coach Jerry Peterson said about the Titans 4-0 shutout of the Decatur Gators Tuesday afternoon.
The reigning SPSL-champion Titans used a workmanlike performance Tuesday, thanks to solid pitching and defense and some clutch hitting against Decatur.
The kids did a good job, Peterson said. Decatur is not too bad. We were just blessed to come out of there with a win.
The Titans jumped on the Gators with two runs in the top of the first inning. After an error and a walk, Beamer junior Cole Bixenman came through with a two-out, two-run single.
That was all the help junior right-hander Dustin Martin would need. Martin threw the first six innings for the Titans, scattering four hits and not walking a batter. Beamer junior Matt Hart pitched the seventh inning.
Dustin did a good job in his first game out of the blocks, Peterson said. We were lucky that he kept his pitch count down. He did a good job of spotting his fastball and we played good defense.
Beamer added single runs in the fifth and sixth innings to finalize the score. Decaturs Brad Reid also had a strong outing. The senior, right-hander threw six innings, striking out eight and giving up two earned runs. John Geise had half of the Gators six hits with a 3-for-3 performance.
Martin wasnt the scheduled opening-day starter for the Titans. That honor was set to go to senior left-hander Carsten Bocchi, last years SPSL South co-Player of the Year. But Bocchi underwent surgery Friday due to a flare up of a blood clot in his left arm. The clot was discovered before the postseason last spring.
We are just hoping for the best for him, Peterson said. Its a tough loss. But our main concern is his health.
Bocchi has already signed a national letter of intent to play next year at Washington State.
The Federal Way Eagles scored 12 runs in the first three innings and cruised to a 13-3, five-inning win over Graham-Kapowsin Tuesday. Senior Spencer Smith finished 3-for-4 with four RBIs and Davis Johnson was 2-for-4 with three runs and two stolen bases. Dustin Horsfall got the win on the mound for the Eagles.
The Todd Beamer Titans tallied three runs in the top of the seventh inning to break a tie and beat the Decatur Gators, 8-5, Tuesday in both teams SPSL South openers.
The Titans had nine hits, including a pair of triples from senior Jade Clare and a 3-for-4 from Kimberly Huteson. Breanna Bocchi and Kelsi Messling for the win on the mound. Decaturs Kendal Nakashima finished 2-for-4 with two RBIs and a triple.
The Thomas Jefferson Raiders got their season started in solid fashion Tuesday with an 11-1 spanking of the Curtis Vikings in six innings.
The Raiders picked up a strong pitching performance from Brittany Still. The junior threw all six innings, giving up two hits and striking out six Curtis hitters. Jeffersons offense was led by Stephanie Ogle and Kristi Sigafoos. Ogle finished 2-for-3 with a triple and three RBIs and Sigafoos was 2-for-3 with two RBIs and a triple.
The Raiders scored three runs in the bottom of the sixth to end the game because of the 10-run rule.
The Todd Beamer Titans moved to 1-1 on the season with a 2-1 loss to the Tahoma Bears Tuesday night in a non-league game. Beamers Dalton Thomas tied the match at 1-1 with a goal in the 34th minute, but Tahomas Bryden Barbee tallied the game-winner three minutes later.
The defending state champion Jefferson Raiders fell to 0-2 on the year with a 3-0 loss to Auburn Tuesday. The Raiders lost to Auburn Riverside last week.
Sports editor Casey Olson: 925-5565, email@example.com