CLATSKANIE - There's no question that the Clatskanie baseball team will win its share of games this year. Probably enough to make the state playoffs.
The Tigers can hit hard and they can play some ball. And it's O.K. to get fired up about that every now and then. But there's also a time when you just need to shut up and play.
Until they learn a little more about that last part, the Tigers may have trouble winning the big ones.
The Tigers did a little too much roaring in their Northwest League contest with Warrenton Tuesday afternoon, and that's what got them in trouble.
The Warriors used some negative vibes coming from the Clatskanie dugout to their advantage as they came from behind to post a 9-7 win over the Tigers in a key NWL showdown.
"It's always fun when Warrenton comes from behind to win," said Warrenton coach Lennie Wolfe. "And under the circumstances - with the way their fans were acting and with the remarks coming from their dugout - it was very satisfying."
It all started with a big four-run third inning for the Tigers, who had five hits in the inning off Warrenton starter Nate McBride.
A two-run single by Ryan Taylor broke a 2-2 tie, and the big blast came from Brandon Hill, who belted a solo home run over the left field fence for a 5-2 lead.
That's where the Tigers could have chosen to just let it be - or in Wolfe's words, "let a sleeping dog lie."
Unfortunately for the Tigers, the home run sparked a few unwise comments.
"When Hill hit the home run to give them a 5-2 lead," Wolfe said, "it was very clear from their dugout - we heard them saying 'we own McBride.' It was loud and it was classless.
"To their coach's credit, he turned around and put a stop to it, but the damage was done. It fired our guys up, and we started attacking the ball far more aggressively.
"It was the attitudes of some of their players and negative comments from the fans directed at our kids," Wolfe said. "You play through it, but you also remember it.
"And I believe that all the things they were saying and doing served as a motivator. So I'm glad they yelled what they yelled and said what they said.
"And to Nate's credit - after they got on him - he didn't give up much after that, and he had two hits (and two RBIs) at the plate. He answered back."
McBride gave up 12 hits in all, with six strikeouts and one walk to pick up the complete game victory.
After falling behind, the Warriors rallied with three runs in the top of the fifth, sparked by consecutive singles from Zach Gantenbein, Sean Beecham and McBride, then a two-out double by Dan Wolfe.
The Tigers certainly didn't help themselves on the field, with two errors in the fifth, followed by a sixth-inning implosion which led to three more Warrenton runs.
Clatskanie committed five errors in the sixth, with two runs scoring when the Tigers attempted to pick off pinch-runner Shane Rudduck at third.
The throw got away, and allowed both Rudduck and Gantenbein to score.
"Even though Shane Rudduck was only in as a pinch-runner, he made two huge plays (advancing to second on a passed ball, then stealing third) to get to third and then score," Wolfe said.
"I was very pleased with the contribution from every part of our lineup," he added. "The seniors did what they're supposed to do at the top of the order (three hits from Gantenbein, two each from Beecham and McBride), and Bret Birman, our No. 8 hitter, had two quality at-bats."
Birman reached on an error to start the four-run rally in the fifth, then began the three-run rally in the sixth with a one-out single.
The Tigers threatened in the top of the seventh, which started with a leadoff double from Max Byrum.
Byrum scored on an error, and the Tigers eventually had runners at second and third with one out. But a quick pick-off move by McBride caught Hill off guard at second for the second out, and McBride struck out the next batter for the final out.
Clatskanie lost its third straight game overall and falls to 3-1 in league, while the Warriors moved into the top spot with a 3-0 mark, 8-1 overall.
Warrenton hosts Vernonia Friday.
Knappa 5, Vernonia 4KNAPPA - That old late-inning, Knappa Logger magic returned Tuesday night, and just in time.
Trailing 4-1 after five innings and in danger of falling to 0-3 in league play, Knappa rallied for a 5-4 win over Vernonia in Northwest League baseball action at Teevin Field.
A full-count, two-out double in the bottom of the seventh by Doug Graham scored Brent Brockey with the winning run, giving Knappa its first league victory of the season.
A two-run homer had given Vernonia a 4-0 lead in the top of the fifth, but Knappa responded with one run in the bottom of the inning and three in the sixth to tie.
Sean Ferguson had a two-run double in the sixth inning rally, and struck out nine batters after getting the start on the mound. Derek Jacobson came on in the sixth to get the victory, while Vernonia's Russell Lende took the loss.
Ferguson and Jacobson combined to allow just three hits, with 13 strikeouts.
Knappa plays at Neah-Kah-Nie Friday.
Vernonia 13, Knappa 0KNAPPA - Vernonia freshman pitcher Joreigh Landers struck out 14 batters and gave up just one hit to lead her team to a 13-0 win over Knappa Tuesday afternoon in a Northwest League softball game.
Vernonia held a 1-0 lead after two innings, then scored six in the third, two in the fourth and four runs in the sixth inning to pull away.
Jenni Smith had the lone hit for Knappa. Landers went 4-for-5 with a triple at the plate for Vernonia.
Clatskanie 5, Warrenton 4CLATSKANIE - Clatskanie's Tanya Gutierrez had a leadoff triple to start the bottom of the eighth inning, then scored on a Warrenton error to end it as the Tigers posted a thrilling 5-4 win over the Warriors Tuesday in Northwest League softball action.
Warrenton led 1-0 after two innings, but the Tigers scored four in the third, and held their 4-1 advantage through five innings.
The Warriors rallied with three runs in the top of the sixth, highlighted by a monster home run from Stacey Moore.
The teams played a scoreless seventh before Clatskanie won the game in the eighth.
Ashley Johnson, Whitney Johnson, Grace Smith, Sarah Kelley and Moore all had two hits for the Warriors, who drop to 2-1 in league, 8-3 overall.
Warrenton out-hit Clatskanie 11-5, but the Warriors committed six errors (four in the sixth) and left 10 runners on base.
Whitney Johnson had a two-run double for the Warriors, who host Vernonia Friday.