WARRENTON - The Knappa Junior State baseball team stepped on the field Thursday afternoon for the first time since June 14, and it didn't take the Loggers long to get back in the swing of things - literally.
The district's best team didn't look as if it had missed a beat in their long layoff as Knappa scored an 11-0 win over Warrenton in Game 1 of a Junior State doubleheader at Huddleston Field.
Warrenton bounced back to win the second, noncounting game, 8-7.
"One practice in three weeks, that's it," said Knappa coach Jeff Miller. "I'm not sure if 'surprised' is the word, but I was pleased with how they came out and hit the ball. That's the toughest thing in the summer, when you're not hitting every day. And now when you're only hitting once in three weeks, I was very pleased with how they came out and hit a lot of line drives all over the field."
And it was the regulars doing most of the damage.
Derek Jacobson had a two-run home run in the opener and added a solo shot in Game 2; Jordan Shear had a double and a two-run homer in Game 1; and Gary Aho and Robert Rankin each had a pair of hits in the Loggers' 10-hit attack.
Sean Ferguson struck out five batters with two walks and allowed only a pair of Tyler Collier singles in the Game 1 victory.
"Sean keeps his arm in shape and comes up and throws the ball, but there's nothing like game experience," Miller said. "His control was great, and sometimes you worry about that when a kid hasn't thrown in a long time. But he came out, had great control and did what he had to do."
Ferguson had all the runs he would need before he even stepped on the mound. Knappa scored three runs in the top of the first on two Warrenton errors, a double to the fence by Rankin, and Aho's infield single that scored Shear.
Ferguson retired the first three batters in order, and capped his day by striking out the last four.
The Loggers have had to deal with forfeits, postponements and cancellations the last three weeks, even showing up at the ball park once, only to find out there was no game. Miller said it's been a little frustrating.
"Summer's a hard time anyway, with all the things going on, to keep everybody focused on what you're doing," he said. "I give the kids a lot of credit. They've battled through not playing. They've got basketball going on and everything else ... I'm really pleased with them.
"We had contributions all over the place today," he added. "I always like to mention the catcher when I can, and we had Robert Rankin working hard back there. I was real impressed with what he was doing, it was a real team effort offensively, defensively, and we controlled the game from the mound."
The Warriors had the mound control in Game 2 as Jerred Engebretson went the distance to pick up the victory.
A homer by Ferguson had given Knappa an early lead, but Shane Rudduck had a two-run home run and Nathan Massey added a two-run blast in the third inning for a 7-3 lead.
Steven Maki and Jacobson each had solo home runs later in the game, but Engebretson closed the door in the bottom of the seventh by striking out the final batter with a runner on third.
Seaside 12, Ilwaco 3
LONG BEACH, Wash. - Ilwaco committed 11 errors and issued 12 walks to Seaside Thursday afternoon, and the Gulls took advantage for a 12-3 win in a Junior State baseball contest.
Seaside improves to 2-2 in league play. With a shortage of players, Ilwaco will forfeit the remainder of its games. The Fishermen finished Thursday's contest with eight players.