The Fishermen and Gulls turned the intensity up a notch in Game 3 – although it looked pretty routine for Astoria Ford through six innings.

Behind the solid pitching of Nick Strange, the Fishermen built a 4-1 through five, then seemingly put the game away in the top of the sixth.

Nick Scott’s double to left scored Chris Leonardi, Scott sprinted home on a sacrifice bunt by Ole Englund, and a single to center from Kyle Strange scored Manny Nelson for a 7-1 lead.

The Gulls got two runs back in the bottom of the sixth, highlighted by an RBI triple from Zach Quicke.

And Seaside shocked their Clatsop rivals with four more runs in the bottom of the seventh.

Justin White had a one-out double and later scored on a passed ball; a single by Quicke (who finished with a single, double and triple) scored Jake Strozzi; and following a double by Nick Richardson and a pitching change, Danny Leary belted a line drive triple to center field, scoring two runs to tie the game.

With runners at second and third, Leonardi struck out the final batter to force extra innings.

And the Fishermen put a quick, anticlimactic end to the drama, scoring two runs in the eighth inning on four walks and a hit batter.

Leonardi struck out two of the three batters he faced in the eighth to end the game.

“I just can’t say enough about how well our guys compete,” said Astoria Ford coach Dave Gasser. “I’ve never even thought about playing Division 1 Junior State with a team that’s basically a Babe Ruth team (Astoria’s infield includes three freshmen-to-be starters).

“The kids have competed well all summer, and they’ve done a great job. Ryker Helmersen is playing behind the dish, with Cooper (Wullger) not there, and he’s done a great job.”

Gasser “felt great about Nick (Strange), because he threw extremely well through six innings. He showed what he’s capable of doing there, and that was a wonderful performance (five hits allowed, nine strikeouts, one walk).”

And he also gave credit to the Gulls for pushing the game to extra innings.

“The ball that the guy smoked off Christopher (Leary’s triple to center) was a good pitch,” he said. “He just went down and raked it. They had a great day (Seaside out-hit Astoria, 8-7) against good pitching. Joel (Dierickx)’s kids competed well.”



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