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Surprising Raiders stun Puyallup
By CASEY OLSON
Thomas Jefferson coach Mike Church is feeling pretty good about his young but talented group of baseball players.
We are a team on the rise, said Church. The Raiders have a good chance of contending for one of the three playoff spots and possibly challenging for the league title.
The Raiders stood at 3-4 overall and 3-2 in the South Puget Sound League South Division after a 7-0 shutout of the Puyallup Vikings on Tuesday and a 5-1 loss to Curtis on Wednesday.
Against Puyallup, which was supposed to be one of the better teams in the SPSL South this season, the Raiders started early and never really stopped. Ryan Compton drilled a first-inning pitch over the leftfield fence for a two-run home run. That was all the help junior pitcher Aaron Bronson needed. Bronson, along with Kyle Nunley combined on a five-hitter. Bronson threw the first five innings, striking out two and walking two.
He was aided by some great defense, said Church.
The biggest of those defensive plays came in the second inning. Puyallup had runners on first and second when third baseman Bryan Mine fielded a hard groundball, starting a 5-4-3 double play to end the Viking threat.
Bronson also helped himself out at the plate. The junior connected on a majestic, opposite-field two-run home run to right center in the bottom of the fourth inning to give Jefferson a 5-0 lead. The Raiders tallied their two final runs in the fifth.
James Partridge contributed two hits for Jefferson.
Curtis 5, Jefferson 1
The Raiders ran into one of the better pitchers in the area on Thursday during a 5-1 loss to the Curtis Vikings.
J.T. Zink, who throws a 90 mph fastball, threw a complete-game and allowed only three Jefferson hits while striking out nine and walking none.
Zink is the real deal, said Church. A Division I type pitcher. He is definitely the top pitcher in the league.