The Camas baseball team extended its season a game further this year with a 2-1 victory over Evergreen in the first round of the district tournament Monday, at Propstra Park.
Hunter Bruno pitched six scoreless innings before the Plainsmen pushed a run across in the top of the seventh. Sam Jones came into pitch and induced two ground balls. Tucker Parker and Jared Bentley made the plays to get the final two outs for the Papermakers.
“I was glad to see my teammates finish it off for me,” Bruno said. “The battle every inning is what I’ll remember most. Evergreen put up a good fight.”
The game was still scoreless in the bottom of the third inning when Bentley hit the ball in the right, center gap and it rolled to the fence. Bentley rounded second and reached third for a triple. Jones hit a hot shot past the third baseman’s glove for an RBI single to give Camas a 1-0 lead.
Evergreen loaded the bases with two outs in the fourth inning on a walk and a couple of errors. The Papermakers got out of the jam with a fly out.
Jones took his frustrations for committing those two errors out on the baseball in the bottom of the fourth. He drilled it over the outfielder’s heads for a double.
“I was mad at myself, but I just had to let it go and try to help my team,” Jones said. “When you put the bat on the ball, good things happen.”
Reid Conlee stepped up to the plate next with only one pitch on his mind.
“Hunt the fastball,” he said.
Conlee hit the ball square and laced it into left field for an RBI single.
“It was a good hit,” he said. “Everything stayed through. I kept it low, like I wanted.”
Jones came around third base and scored on the play. His two errors were forgotten. The Papermakers were up 2-0.
“When I touched home plate, I was happy,” Jones said. “That one extra run turned out to be the difference in this game.”
The Plainsmen led off the seventh inning with an infield hit. After a fly out to left, the next batter hit a tee shot to the center field fence for an RBI double. Jones came into pitch with only one initiative.
“Just pound the strike zone,” he said. “If they hit it, I knew my defense would get the job done behind me, and they did. It felt good to get out of that jam with the win.”
Camas faces Skyview Wednesday, at 5 p.m., at Propstra Park. Battle Ground and Union wait for their challengers on Thursday and Friday.
Although the Papermakers say Monday’s white knuckle victory did wonders for their confidence, there is still plenty of baseball to play this week.
“It’s going to be a grind every day. It’s all about making sure we do the things we need to do in order to succeed,” Conlee said. “You don’t win a game in one inning, especially in the playoffs. It takes a total team effort.”