ILWACO - "This is the first time we have won a Trico League series in four years," an excited Coach Dave Tapio stated after the Fishermen downed White Salmon 10-2 in a rain-shortened game in Long Beach Friday. The two teams split a doubleheader at White Salmon the day before.
The Bruins broke on top in the first inning, but a huge five-run second gave Ilwaco a lead they would not relinquish. Trevor Couch was the winning pitcher, going four innings and striking out one. Ryan Tapio pitched a scoreless fifth on a mound made slippery by a steady rain.
Justin Short turned a double play at shortstop in the second frame and Skyler Olson made two running catches in centerfield to bolster the errorless Ilwaco defense. Wirkkala tossed a runner out from his catcher position and was solid behind the plate.
In the first Couch walked and stole the first of three bases he would swipe on the day. Short singled him with the first of three base hits he would smack. Olson led off the second with a booming triple and scored on Matt Wood's sacrifice to knot the game at 2-2.
Couch then singled and Austin Wirkkala doubled him home. Later Short would single in two more runs and then Tapio singled him home to put the Fishermen up 6-2. Ilwaco exploded for four more runs in the bottom of the fourth frame on two walks and Short's RBI-single. Olson drove home two with his hit and Couch plated the final run with another single to make the count 10-2.
Both Couch and Short were 3-3 to lead Ilwaco's offense. Wirkkala had a double, Olson was 2-3 with a triple, and Dylan Short and Tapio added base hits. Corey Dunn walked three times and scored once. Coach Tapio explained, "We hit well again today, played very good defense on a field that got more slick as the rain continued, and we pitched well."
The Fishermen are now 3-5 in the Trico and 4-7 overall. They are in the hunt for third place and a playoff berth or fourth place and a pigtail game. White Salmon falls to 1-8 in league play.