No matter what they do, the Knappa summer baseball team just keeps dialing up the wrong number when the Loggers face the Astoria Ford Fishermen.

Almost a month after the Loggers dropped a 2-1 decision to Astoria (in which the Fishermen rallied for the win, despite finishing with just two hits), the Loggers were hurting a little bit more following Thursday night’s Junior State Baseball game at Aiken Field.

Knappa, sponsored by Teevin Bros., scored eight runs in the third inning for an 8-0 lead, then watched as the Fishermen slowly fought their way back for a 9-8 win.

“It’s all part of the learning experience,” said Knappa coach Jeff Miller, who wasn’t too disappointed with the loss. “We just didn’t do enough to win, and they did.”

The frustrating part, he said, was once again playing well enough to win, but squandering an early lead.

“In a span of two innings, we had six walks and committed five errors – and you’re not going to win that way,” Miller said.

Astoria Ford coach Melton Lucore said, “We squandered a lot of opportunities (with nine runners left on base), so it was pretty nice to see us come back and win.

“We definitely dug ourselves a hole,” he said, after the Fishermen gave up eight runs in the third inning.

Astoria rallied with three runs in the bottom of the third, scored four in the fourth, then plated two in the bottom of the sixth on a single to center by Tony Rudolfi.

“I just told Tony to stay positive, that something good would happen,” Lucore said. “And it was pretty cool to see him come up with the hit.”

Senior-to-be Andrew Bergeson also played a role in the comeback.

Bergeson replaced starter Jeramy Poyer on the mound late in the third inning, and gave up an additional two runs, but pitched strong the rest of the way, allowing just one hit over the final four innings (an infield single by Jeffrey Benthin in the sixth).

Bergeson finished with nine strikeouts and one walk to earn the victory.

“Andrew has been pretty much lights out all summer,” Lucore said.

Knappa pitchers Trevin Morgan and Austin Palek scattered seven hits, but the Loggers had a meltdown defensively.

Knappa committed a combined five errors in the third and fourth innings, and finished with seven miscues in the field.

The Loggers – still playing without Kyle Kelly in the lineup – built their big lead with six hits in the third inning, including a two-run double by Benthin, a run-scoring single by Morgan, and a two-run single down the right field line by Nate Truax.

In the bottom of the third, Knappa gave up a run on an error, a passed ball, and a run-scoring double by Bergeson.

Astoria pulled to within one run in the fourth when Frankie Leonardi had a sharp single to center to score Chris Leonardi. Two runs scored on a squeeze bunt by Will James, who was hit by the ball on the throw to first, allowing a second run to score.

With James at second, an errant pickoff throw sailed into centerfield for an error, and the ball got past the centerfielder for another, allowing James to score.

After a scoreless fifth inning, Poyer beat out an infield hit in the sixth, stole second, and scored along with Carter Wallace on Rudolfi’s single to center.

Bergeson struck out the side in the fifth, then struck out two batters each in the sixth and seventh innings.

Benthin had three of Knappa’s 10 hits, while Astoria had seven hits from seven players.

With the win, Astoria Ford clinches the No. 1 seed in the district. Knappa returns to action at 2 p.m. Sunday for a doubleheader at Tillamook.

There will be a district tournament with all seven teams July 12 and 13, with five games Thursday (all at Aiken Field, Game 1 at 10 a.m.), a championship game Friday night at Aiken Field, with four consolation games Friday at Seaside’s Broadway Field.

The top three teams advance to the state tournament.


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