Camas baseball team rides a roller coaster

Papermakers win two and lose two to begin league

Rain delayed the showdown between Camas and state champion Skyview until after spring break.

In the meantime, the Papermakers took what the rest of the 4A Greater St. Helens League could dish out in three days.

Camas shut down Heritage 4-0 Wednesday. McKinley LeFore pitched six innings of 1-hit baseball and gained 10 strikeouts. Sam Jones and Dylan White delivered 2-run doubles.

The Papermakers and the Battle Ground Tigers tangled for nine innings Thursday, before Battle Ground escaped Camas with a 7-5 victory. This wet and windy game featured five lead changes until the mud had finally settled.

The Tigers led off the game with two hits and scored a run in the top of the first inning. White drilled a pitch over the center fielder’s head to double home the tying run. Battle Ground regained the advantage twice only to let it slip away. White laced a single in the gap for Camas in the bottom of the fifth and pinch runner Sean McClanahan came around to score the tying run from first base. LeFore drove in another run on a single to give the Papermakers their first lead of the game.

Camas hung on 4-3 in the sixth, but couldn’t prevent Battle Ground from tying the game again in the seventh. The Tigers had runners on second and third base with only one out when Camas catcher Luke Grindy caught a pop up behind the plate and threw out the runner trying to get back to third for a double play.

Battle Ground scored three runs with two outs in the top of the ninth inning. Reilly Hennessey led off the bottom of the ninth for Camas with a single. He came around to score on a hit by Blake Christopher. The Papermakers loaded the bases before the Tigers got the final three outs.

“We had guys get into tight situations for the first time on varsity. I’m pretty proud of the way they responded,” said Camas head coach Joe Hallead. “They scored three runs in that last inning. We could have just rolled over, but we didn’t. We fought back, scored a run and loaded the bases. That’s all you could ask for.”

The Papermakers kicked off the first week of league with a 10-4 victory March 31, at Evergreen High School. Camas wanted to finish the week strong at Union Friday, but the Titans prevailed 4-2.

Camas scored two runs in the top of the first inning. Cameron Pierce walked to lead off the game. Christopher moved him over to third base on a single and White walked to load the bases. Jones got the first run of the game in on a fielder’s choice to third base. Reid Conlee hit a line drive to right field to bring home the second run.

Union pitcher Matt Olstead cooled Camas’ sizzling bats through the next six innings. The Titans took the lead in the bottom of the second. Jake Hawken put an exclamation point on the victory with a home run in the bottom of the third.

The Papermakers (7-3) are scheduled to host Skyview Monday, and then go to Skyview Tuesday, April 15. Both games begin at 4 p.m.