After losing to Union in 10 innings Thursday, the Camas High School baseball players went back to work Friday and took care of Heritage from the start.
The Papermakers scored two runs in the bottom of the first inning, and added four more with two outs in the fifth, to beat the Timberwolves 7-2.
Liam Fitzpatrick pitched into the fourth inning before loading the bases with one out. Sam Christopher came in and limited Heritage to just one run on a sac fly.
“It’s a lot of pressure, but I’ve been there before,” Christopher said. “I just kept my cool, threw strikes and let my defense take care of the rest.”
Jared Bentley got the Papermakers rolling again with a single into right field to extend the fifth inning, Ryan Kempf worked a full count and earned a walk and Hunter Bruno ripped an RBI single into left field.
“We were waiting for a little bit of a spark. I just happened to be the guy,” Bentley said. “The past few days were close. We had a chance to win, but we just couldn’t pull through. [Friday], I felt like we did that.”
The Papermakers continued to roll in the fifth inning. Fitzpatrick reached first to load the bases, Christopher walked in a run and Tucker Parker laced an RBI single to give Camas a 5-run cushion.
“Our [at-bats] got much better,” Fitzpatrick said. “It was awesome to string some hits together.”
Heritage led off the sixth inning with a triple and scored a second run, before the Papermakers turned a double play to end the frame.
Bentley tacked on a seventh run with a single in the bottom of the sixth. Heritage loaded the bases with one out in the top of the seventh, but Christopher didn’t falter. He got the next batter to fly out to right field. The last batter hit a ground ball to Bentley. He tossed it to Parker standing on second base for the final out.
“[Christopher] just throws strikes,” Bentley said. “He does exactly what our coaches ask of him.”
Camas scored two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning Thursday to tie the score with Union and push the game into extra innings. The Titans took the lead back in the top of the ninth, but the Papermakers tied the score again. Union added two more runs in the top of the 10th and held on for a 6-4 victory.
Bruno doubled and drove in two runs for Camas, Fitzpatrick added two singles and an RBI, Bentley scored two runs, and Kempf rounded the bases and crossed home plate once.
Luke Bruno, Christopher, Luke Grindy and Parker knocked in runs for the Papermakers in the bottom of the seventh inning Wednesday, before Battle Ground got the final out in the game and walked off the field with a 5-4 victory.
The Camas ball players fought through adversity and ended a challenging first week of the season with a win. The Papermakers get to face Battle Ground, Union and Heritage two more times. Evergreen, Mountain View and Skyview will be on the horizon once the rain passes.
“It’s a tough league. Everybody knows that,” Fitzpatrick said. “It just evens the playing field. You have to come into each practice and game with focus.”