The Astoria Fishermen know the routine pretty well by now: Build a 10-run lead, sit back and watch whoever happens to be pitching throw a one-hit shutout, pack up after five innings, and head home.
That was the story Wednesday afternoon at Seaside's Broadway Field, in a Clatsop Clash baseball game.
The Fishermen had their 10-0 lead following their fifth at-bat, and Astoria pitcher Taylor Landwehr needed just 62 pitches to finish off the Gulls in Astoria's 10-0 win over Seaside.
Landwehr allowed a fourth inning single by Nick Nelson - the only hit given up by the senior right-hander, who struck out eight with no walks.
At the plate, Astoria's Conor Harber went 2-for-3 and drove in three runs to highlight the 10th-straight win for the No. 1-ranked Fishermen.
Astoria improves to 5-0 in league, and will host the Gulls at 5 p.m. today.
After a scoreless first inning, Astoria's Max Johnson and Ian Erickson both had singles to start the second. Johnson scored on the first of six Seaside errors, and sacrifice bunts by Landwehr and Keifer Lucore brought in Erickson and Jacob Davis.
Base hits by Johnson, Landwehr and Harber - coupled with three Seaside errors - led to four more runs in the third inning.
Playing against a stiff wind, Astoria's Garrett Puckett drove a fifth-inning pitch to the center-field fence for a double to score Davis.
A double down the right field line by Harber brought in two more runs for the 10-0 lead.
The Fishermen have implemented "small ball" into their game this year, much more than in the past.
"We're fast, and we're really good at it," said Astoria coach Dave Gasser. "Especially in wind like this, when the ball isn't going anywhere. I don't know how Garrett hit it that far - he just smashed it.
"But there have been a lot of games that just set themselves up to play short ball," he said. "Our kids bunt so well, and they can run pretty fast. It's just taking advantage of what we have. When it warms up and it's not as windy, we won't do it as much."
Meanwhile, Landwehr is nearly untouchable on the mound. He faced just one batter over the minimum in Wednesday's win.
"He's just throwing consistently well, and Ralph (Steinback, Astoria's pitching coach) just does a terrific job with the pitchers. Every year I've been here, we've had two guys who throw a lot of strikes, let us play, and rarely walk anybody.
"The latest version is these two guys (Landwehr and Max Johnson). And they're not just throwing strikes - they have really good stuff," Gasser said.
"Our strikeout-to-walk ratio has never been better than this. It's something like 8-to-1, which makes it - to be honest - pretty easy to win games."
Steinback said Landwehr is averaging just 12 pitches per inning.
"It's not unlike Mathias Brause," Gasser said. "A good fastball, a good curveball ... good command of his pitches, and he's unruffable. It's a very fast-paced game and he throws a lot of strikes.
"Matt Brause kind of set the tone for what we want to do, and a lot of guys have worked with Ralph and emulated that."