The Vancouver Mavericks and the Lower Columbia Baseball Club hooked up in a nine-inning slugfest Tuesday night at Aiken Field — a slugfest that turned into a Maverick meltdown and led to a big comeback victory for Lower Columbia’s team, sponsored by Hilander Dental of Longview, Washington.
Vancouver held an 11-3 lead in the top of the fifth inning before Lower Columbia rallied with 13 runs that ultimately led to a 16-11 win in nine innings.
Four routine defensive plays for Vancouver in the bottom of the seventh instead resulted in four errors, leading to a big five-run inning for LCBC.
Offensively, five players did most of the damage for Lower Columbia. The local players from Astoria, Warrenton and Naselle combined for eight hits, six runs scored and 10 runs batted in.
The biggest day belonged to Lower Columbia catcher and recent Warrenton graduate Jake Morrow, who finished 3-4 at the plate, with four RBIs and three runs scored. He also walked twice to reach base five times.
Warrenton teammate Austin Little was 2-for-4 with three RBIs.
Vancouver scored six runs in the top of the fifth to build a seemingly safe 11-3 lead, but Maverick errors in the bottom of the fifth forced Vancouver to go deep into its bullpen.
And Lower Columbia took advantage, eventually pounding out 14 hits off seven different pitchers. The Maverick pitchers also walked nine and hit three batters.
Lower Columbia had its own problems on the mound, allowing 10 hits with six walks and three hit batters.
After closing to within 11-7 in the bottom of the fifth, Morrow highlighted the Hilander comeback with a bases-loaded double off the left field fence that brought his team to within 11-10.
After a scoreless sixth, Lower Columbia tacked on five runs in the bottom of the seventh and one in the eighth.
Lower Columbia pitchers Reed Elo (Mark Morris High School) and Kevin Barnett (R.A. Long) helped hold Vancouver scoreless over the final four innings.
Now 5-0 overall, Lower Columbia hosts a doubleheader with Rural Baseball Inc. Friday at Aiken Field beginning at 5 p.m.