The Astoria baseball team made it a little more dramatic than they needed to, but in the end the Fishermen walked off with a victory Tuesday afternoon, 4-3 over St. Helens.
Astoria’s first game of the season at Aiken Field was also the first win for first-year coach Glen Fromwiller, whose team improves to 1-3.
The Lions scored twice in the top of the seventh to force another half-inning, but the Fishermen answered in the bottom of the seventh with an infield single by Zac Patterson scoring Burke Matthews with the game-winner.
It was the fifth year in a row for the now-annual preseason meeting between St. Helens and Astoria. After three straight wins by the Lions (2014, ’15 and ’16), the Fishermen have won two in a row.
Both teams scored a run in the first inning, before the Fishermen tacked on an unlikely pair of runs in the fourth.
St. Helens pitcher Kyle Harris struck out the first two batters he faced for two quick outs.
Astoria’s Josiah Hirsch reached on an infield grounder that the Lions were unable to field, and Balan Kolee was hit by a pitch.
With a 1-2 count on No. 8 hitter Dylan Matteucci, the Fishermen senior poked a single to right, scoring Hirsch.
Ryan Stutznegger followed with a slow roller to second, which the Lions booted for another error, allowing Kolee to score for a 3-1 lead.
Meanwhile, the Fishermen were cruising along defensively.
After St. Helens freshman Jacobi Allen opened the top of the third with a single, Astoria pitchers Dylan Rush and Trey Hageman combined on the mound to retire 12 straight.
The Lions entered the seventh inning with their No. 7, 8 and 9 hitters, but still managed to tie the game.
With runners at first and second and two outs, Justin Olson drove a long single to right center field, scoring both runs for a 3-3 tie.
The Fishermen bounced right back in the bottom of the seventh.
Matthews belted his third double of the game to left field, then advanced to third when the Lions booted a grounder by Hageman for their fourth error of the day.
Patterson followed with a grounder to the mound, but an errant throw to second spoiled the potential double play, allowing Matthews to trot home with the game-winning run.
Rush and Hageman scattered six hits with a combined nine strikeouts and two walks, while Astoria had nine hits.