Papermakers keep winning streak alive

Jeremy Faulkner goes deep twice Monday to help Camas sweep Kelso doubleheader

Make it 13 wins and counting for the Camas High School baseball team.

Jeremy Faulkner delivered a double dose of delirium for the Papermakers Monday. His 3-run home run in the bottom of the fifth inning erased Kelso’s 3-run advantage with one swing of the bat. Faulkner smashed the baseball over the left field fence again to lead off the bottom of the ninth, and Camas celebrated a 7-6 victory and a doubleheader sweep of the Hilanders.

“Jeremy had himself quite a game,” said Camas head coach Joe Hallead. “We had him in the DH spot for the first time in the second game, and he was getting some good reads on the pitchers. He was putting some good swings on the ball all day.”

Camas relief pitcher Nate Lauritzen tossed three hitless innings to pick up the victory. Starting pitcher Ryan Patterson gutted it out on the mound through four innings. He ran into some tough jams, but got out of the mess with the Paermakers only trailing by three runs.

“Ryan made some defensive lapses, but he battled out of them and gave us a chance to come back and win the game. Nate was just nasty,” Hallead said. “It was just a good job by our guys to come back when their backs were against the wall. It just shows the poise and leadership of our team.”

Camas won the first game over Kelso Monday, by the score of 8-2. John Welborn went 3-for-4 at the plate with a home run and three runs scored. Kurt Yinger tossed another seven innings, and racked up 11 strikeouts. Kelso scored two unearned runs on five hits, which means Yinger (5-0) has not allowed an earned run in 32 innings pitched.

“I don’t think that’s ever been done before,” Hallead said. “Thirty innings is almost a season for most pitchers, but Yinger has already got there in our first 13 games. And in all of that time, he still hasn’t given up any runs. It’s just ridiculous.”

Camas (13-0, 8-0) hosts Prairie today, before going to Prairie Thursday and hosting Skyview Friday. All three games begin at 4 p.m.

“Prairie is just this scrappy team. They’re under the radar, and they could come up and bite you,” Hallead said. “Our goal is to get these next two wins against Prairie to keep our top spot in the league.”

The Papermakers are ranked first in the state by the Seattle Times for the second week in a row, and their reputation is growing in other media outlets across the state.

“We’re proud to represent the number-one spot, but the only thing we’re thinking about is winning the next game,” Hallead said.

Camas floored Columbia River 15-2 April 12, with three home runs in the top of the seventh inning. Yinger got the party started with a grand slam, and Faulkner and Logan Grindy each added 2-run round trippers. The 13-run seventh inning helped Zach Carter pick up the win on the mound after he racked up 12 strikeouts through six innings pitched. Out of 92 pitches total, Carter threw 73 strikes.

“When I was warming up in the bullpen, it just felt this was my day to shine,” Carter said. “It was just an awesome day to go out there and pitch.”

Especially when you’re getting that kind of run support.

We’re just that team,” Carter said. “Every time you come back to the dugout, guys are giving you a pat on the back. That’s why I love being a part of this team.”