Back on the diamond for the first time after spring break Monday, the Papermakers struck for two runs in the top of the seventh inning to beat their rivals.
Taylor Adams hadn’t seen a baseball for eight days while helping build parks for kids in Guatemala, but the Camas High School junior led off the inning with a hit and made his way around the base paths to score the tying run. Ryan Kempf advanced to third base and scored the leading run on a pass ball.
“Once we got down 1-0, it finally kicked in how much we wanted to beat these guys,” Kempf said. “Paying attention to detail and doing all the little things paid off.”
Sam Christopher went back to the mound to pitch the bottom of the seventh inning and earned the complete game victory.
“It was a good feeling to go back out there and finish them off,” Christopher said. “The game plan was just the same as the first six innings. Throw strikes, trust my defense and stay positive.”
Although Camas failed to get a big hit in the first six innings, head coach Stephen Short said the Papermakers were getting the job done in the field.
Luke Bruno ran down a deep fly ball in the gap in left field. Catcher Kristian Hellberg threw out a few base runners from behind the plate. Third baseman Grant Heiser made some clutch stops in the corner. Christopher held the Titans to four hits and an unearned run in seven innings pitched.
“It feels great anytime we beat those guys,” Short said. “Sometimes, you win games with offense. Sometimes, it’s pitching and defense. Sometimes, it’s base running. The difference was our defense, and (Christopher) pitched phenomenally.
“We had guys on base; we just couldn’t get that big hit,” he added. “Give Union credit. They made great pitches. Our defense kept us in the game, and we finally got it done on the bases.”
Camas challenges Skyview tonight, at 7 p.m., at Propstra Park. The Papermakers won the first game of this series in extra innings. The Storm got even in the second game to force a rubber match today.
“Every game in this league is important,” Christopher said. “To win the tiebreaker with Skyview would be huge. You can’t look past any team. One game at a time.”
The Papermakers still have three games against Battle Ground, one at Union and two with Heritage.
“We’re just trying to get better today so that we’ll be ready to play tomorrow,” Short said.