Turning the tide

CHS baseball beats defending league champion Union

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Tyce Funk slides home safe for the Camas baseball team Monday, at Union. The Papermakers defeated the Titans 9-6.

Camas stepped on to enemy soil at Union High School Monday, and made a statement against the defending league champions.

Propelled by a six-run sixth inning, the Papermakers put the finishing touches on a 9-6 victory with clutch pitching and defense.

“They beat us three times last year,” said senior Sam Jones after earning the save on the mound. “We couldn’t have started the season off any better.”

Liam Fitzpatrick led off the sixth inning with a double down the third base line. Hunter Bruno, Luke Grindy, Zach Pfeifer and Cameron Pierce drove in four of the runs. Mckinley LeFore and Tyce Funk scored the other two runs on wild pitches.

“Momentum carried us all the way through,” said Bruno, who also knocked in the first run of the game for Camas in the second inning. “I’ve got a lot of buddies on the other team, and they were talking smack. It felt really good to get those runs on them.”

Bruno and Tucker Parker plated runs in the second inning to give the Papermakers a 2-0 lead. The Titans tied the score in the fourth inning and chased LeFore off the mound. Jared Bentley smothered a hot shot by the next Union hitter with bases loaded. He got the forced out at second, but the throw to first got away from the fielder and two more Titans came around to score to give them a 4-2 advantage.

Pfeifer struck out the following batter to get Camas out of a jam. Bentley roped a double over the right fielder’s head with two outs in the fifth inning to get a run back. After Pfeifer retired the next three Titans, the Papermakers spotted him a five-run lead.

Jones slammed the door on Union in the sixth and seventh innings.

New Camas head coach Steve Short enjoyed this first victory as much as the Papermakers did. He said they have to remember this was just the first game of the season.

“We are still a long ways from where we need to be and where we’re going to be,” Short said. “You couldn’t ask for a better start, beating the defending league champions on their field. The biggest game of the season right now is Wednesday, at Battle Ground. That’s how we have to approach it.”