It was a sunny 56 degrees Saturday afternoon, when the Camas High School baseball players stepped onto the shiny green grass to play Hudson’s Bay at Propstra Park.
“Look at this,” said head coach Joe Hallead as he tilted his head to the sky and shielded his eyes. “Is that blue? Tell me it’s not a painting.”
“When it’s sunny, I feel like everybody is more happy and ready to play better,” added senior Jace Schumacher.
Schumacher had a good day at the plate. He delivered three hits and scored two runs to help the Papermakers beat the Eagles 8-2.
“It’s a pretty good feeling standing on base after those hits,” Schumacher said. “This is my first year on varsity, and I feel like it’s my time to shine.”
After leading off the second inning with a double, Schumacher came around to score the first run for Camas on a tee shot over the center fielder’s head off the bat of Connor McClellan. The Papermakers added another run in the inning to go up 2-0.
Hudson’s Bay capitalized on a couple of walks and a squeeze bunt to tie the score in the fourth inning. Camas regained the lead in the bottom of the inning after Connor Zepponi stole third base and came around to score on a throwing error.
Papermaker starting pitcher Dylan White tossed four-plus innings of three-hit ball to pick up the victory. Luke Minder and Tyler Hallead shut the door by pitching two-plus innings of scoreless relief.
“Hudson’s Bay really put the pressure on us,” coach Hallead said. “They stole bases, bunted guys over and even tried to steal home. For an inexperienced team to be able to battle through all that, put runs on the board and keep adding shows we are moving in the right direction.”
Austin Barr gave the Papermakers some breathing room by smashing a 2-run home run over the right field fence. Camas added two more runs in the inning to go up 7-2.
“He left that fastball a little bit elevated, and I was able to get some backspin on it and carry it out of here,” Barr said. “It felt great to get a hold of that one. I give all the credit to my teammates. They were up the whole time when it was a close ball game, and they showed a lot of heart.”
Barr also gave props to Trent Johnson for calling his home run from the dugout.
“It’s cool to be able to share a moment like that with Trent,” Barr said. “His ‘Spidey Sense’ was tingling on that one.”
The long ball invigorated the Papermakers. Schumacher singled up the middle for his third hit in the game, Reilly Hennessey looped a single into right center and McClellan walked to load the bases.
An incredible catch by the right fielder robbed Spencer Hunt of an extra-base hit, but Camas still scored two runs on the long fly out.
A lead off single for the Eagles in the sixth inning was erased on a double play turned by Hennessey and Gabe Heredia. Tyler Hallead then struck out the next batter on three pitches.
Nate Culver doubled in the bottom of the sixth. White brought the runner home on a sac fly. The Papermakers retired the side in the seventh. Tyler Hallead struck out the last batter.
“All 18 guys did something to help us win a ball game,” coach Hallead said. “I’ve been doing this a long time, and been in a lot of big games. These are the wins I love the most, when everyone is a part of it on every pitch.”