What was expected to be a closely contested battle between rivals Neah-Kah-Nie and Nestucca, quickly turned into a runaway win in favor of the Pirates, when the two teams met on the baseball diamond April 3.
Early on it looked like the visiting Bobcats were going to take full control of the game, scoring three runs in the first inning and going three up, three down in the bottom half of the inning thanks to the pitching of junior Mitchell Richwine.
But a good start for Nestucca defensively quickly turned sour in the second and NKN loaded up the bases and scored on base hits by senior Josh Longfellow, junior Michael Kelly and senior Josh Elinsky, en route to a five run inning, taking a 5-4 lead going into the third.
The Pirates then took advantage of Richwine’s exit from the mound and piled on the runs for the rest of the game, while the Bobcats were unable to record hits off of sophomore pitcher Keygan Wagner of NKN, who pitched 3.1 innings, striking out four and allowing just one run.
NKN scored five more runs in the fifth inning and two in the sixth to stretch the lead to 15-5, ending the game at the hands of the 10-run rule.
At the plate, senior AJ Pieper, who had two hits and two RBI’s, along with teammate Kelly’s pair of hits and RBI’s led the way for the Pirates. Senior Tristan Bennett also batted in three runs on the day.
For Nestucca, junior Logan Blackburn had three hits and scored two runs, while sophomore Tyler Hagerty had two hits and one RBI on the day.