Legion rocks Granite 9-1

Aggressive pitching, hitting notches third win

Four perfect innings of pitching, 12 hits and an errorless game improved the combined Oak Harbor/Coupeville AA American Legion baseball team’s record to 3-2 with a 9-1 victory over Granite Falls Wednesday.

Oak Harbor’s Zach Hauser had his pitches in tune facing the minimum number of 12 batters in his four-inning stint on the mound. He struck out six and the Tigers didn’t hit a ball out of the infield.

“Zach threw the ball really well tonight,” coach Jim Waller said. “He threw strikes and we played defense behind him.”

Oak Harbor put a pair of runs on the board in the bottom of the second inning on back-to-back singles by Marcus Naymik and Ben Wolfe, a botched pickoff attempt and a double by Kyle Wilcox, and added a third run in the bottom of the third with singles by David Reilly and Danny Lura, a double steal and an infield out.

Meanwhile, Hauser continued to mow down Granite Falls batters throwing just 49 pitches.

“He was aggressive with their batters and threw strikes, that’s something we want to see,” Waller said. “Our pitchers have the tendency this year to fall behind into hitter’s counts. I thought he did a really good job hitting certain locations in certain counts.”

Trailing 4-0, Granite Falls scored a run in the top of the fifth inning off relief pitcher Brandon Richter on a leadoff double by Bran Beard, an infield out and a wild pitch.

Undaunted, Oak Harbor came right back and blew the game open with a four-run uprising in the bottom half of the inning.

The Wildcats collected four straight hits off Granite Fall’s reliever Chad Majors including a double by Lura and a triple off the bat of Wilcox to push the lead to 8-1.

“Our hitters did much better in tonight’s game,” Waller said. ”They didn’t throw the ball very hard, but what I really liked was our hitters were staying back on pitches. Some of our batters have

the tendency to get out in front on slow curve balls and that’s been a problem for us this season.”

Naymik led Oak Harbor with

a 2-for-4 effort at the plate with two runs scored and a pair of RBI. Wilcox was 2-for-3 with a double and a triple and two RBI. Patrick Higbee also connected for a double and had a sacrifice fly RBI in the sixth inning to drive in Oak Harbor’s final run.