Cameron Pierce and Connor Heredia drove in runs for Camas, while Dylan White was dealing into the seventh inning with a no hitter.
Prairie then made the Papermakers sweat. The potential final batter for the Falcons reached first base safely after a Camas outfielder lost the ball in the bright sun. With White approaching the 90-pitch count, head coach Joe Hallead reluctantly took him out of the game.
Bryce Gould drilled the first pitch from reliever Tucker Parker off the left field fence, and the runner came all the way around to score from first base to give Prairie its first hit and run of the game. Camas first baseman McKinley LeFore made a nice diving save on the next ball in play to save another potential run, but the batter beat his toss to the bag.
Although Parker was just a sophomore pitching in his first varsity game, he fought though this adversity and got the next batter to fly out to right field to end the game. Camas celebrated a 2-1 victory in the first game of the season.
“It felt good to go out there and get some good pitching under my belt,” White said. “I was just living pitch by pitch, and getting the ground balls for my team to take care of.”
Hallead said White’s pitching location and efficiency were keys to keeping him in the game for so long. He also earned eight strikeouts.
“Dylan was dominant. He needed an outing like that to kick start his season,” Hallead said. “I hated to take him out with two outs in the seventh, but Parker went in and got the job done. It was a great opportunity for a sophomore to show what he could do with the game on the line.”
Pierce put the first run on the board for Camas with an RBI single in the third inning. Hallead said White took over from there.
“Dylan’s a competitor,” the coach said. “Once he got a lead, he wanted to shut them down.”
Heredia added an insurance run in the sixth inning that turned out to be necessary for the Papermakers to win the game. He tagged a baseball to deep center field and out of reach of a Falcon’s glove. LeFore came around to score after he continued the inning with a 2-out hit of his own. Heredia had played soccer before coming out for baseball this season.
“I talked about making the most of your at-bats. He took that conversation to heart,” Hallead said. “If he keeps having more at-bats like that, he’s going to see the field a lot more.”
Camas defeated Hockinson 4-2 Thursday. Reilly Hennessey, Liam Fitzpatrick and Jared Bentley drove in runs at the plate. LeFore tossed six innings of four-hit baseball and gained eight strikeouts.