NORTH BEND — With a massive double-header with division-leading Roseburg Pepsi on Wednesday, it was important the North Coos American Legion squad did two things on Monday against visiting Hidden Valley: manage its pitching innings and play well.
It did both.
In a 12-2 win in the five-inning opener, August Baker tossed a complete game and North Coos scored all of its runs in the first three innings. The Waterfront then worked through a 7-4 nightcap win with a piecemeal pitching performance and some clutch late hitting.
“Our team is still ready to go and not slacking,” Corbin White said. “Just keep it going for state, which is our goal.”
North Coos improved its win streak to 13 games in a row and set up Wednesday’s twin bill against Roseburg Pepsi as a battle for first place in the Area 4 North Division. The Bottlecaps, who handed North Coos its only two losses, are 15-1 and the Waterfront 16-2 in league play.
Brylee Anderson got the start in the nightcap Monday for North Coos and faced some early trouble, allowing a couple of singles to Sam Vidlak and Isaac Hill with one out in the first inning.
But Anderson didn’t panic, getting Coughlin Shuts to ground into a 6-4-3 double play. The next frame, after North Coos loaded the bases and scored when an errant pickoff throw to second gave Jake Simmons time to score, Anderson pitched around another one-out single with another double play.
“He pitched into the sixth the other day against North Eugene,” North Coos coach Brad Horning said. “Through five he hadn’t given up a run. So we’re pretty deep in there and I think he felt like, ‘If I can make guys hit the ball, we’re gonna be able to play behind me.’ Today, he made ‘em hit the ball again and that’s right where we’re at.”
Anderson went three innings Monday, allowing just two runs after three straight singles to start the third loaded the bases. Hill flew out to left for a sacrifice fly, then Shults doubled to give Hidden Valley its only lead of the day at 2-1.
North Coos responded with three runs of its own in the bottom of the third, moving ahead for good.
Facing reliever Shults, Jayden Frank and Dallas McGill walked to lead off, then Ian Spalding singled to drive in Frank and tie the game at 2-2.
After an out on a fielder’s choice by Corbin White, Mane Freeman, was hit by a pitch for the first of three times in the game (he also had a single) to bring up AJ Stoltey with one out and the bases loaded. He singled with two strikes to drive in courtesy runner Lucas Moe from third to give North Coos a 3-2 lead. An out later, Simmons walked with the bases loaded to score White.
Simmons came in to relieve Anderson in the fourth and, pitching on his birthday, allowed just an unearned run in the fifth when, after a single and a walk, an error at third base allowed Vidlak to score from second and make it a one-run game at 4-3.
But North Coos extended the lead once again in the home fifth.
With Brendan Roberts on first after walking, Frank lifted one over Caleb Richter’s head for a one-out double and Roberts flew around the bases to score. On the very next pitch, McGill shot a double past Rutherford for another two-bagger, doubling North Coos’ lead. Then Spalding bounced one to shortstop which got through for an error, with McGill hustling around third and scored for a 7-3 lead.
Then North Coos, with that oh-so-important date on Wednesday, got some work on the mound for its top-of-the-rotation guys. Moe got the ball for the sixth and went right after hitters, striking out two of the three Miners he faced.
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McGill came in for the seventh and started with a couple of strikeouts, though a dropped third strike allowed Vidlak to end up on first. Hill walked, then Shults grounded to Frank at short for a potential game-ending double play. But Stoltey’s relay to White at first was wide and Vidlak came around to score. McGill got his third strikeout of the inning to end the afternoon.
“Sometimes when you do that stuff, when you go three innings, then two innings, then one, one, sometimes guys don’t take that very serious, seeing how hard they can throw it,” Horning said. “But I think every guy was trying to be as efficient as they could with their innings and pitched really well.”
In the opener, White had a two-run single in the first inning and Roberts walked to drive in another run as North Coos sent 11 batters to the plate and scored six runs.
McGill doubled in a pair of runs in the third as North Coos sent another 11 batters to the plate and scored another five runs.
Baker was nearly flawless, allowing just five hits and two runs over five innings.
North Coos hosts Roseburg Pepsi on Wednesday at 4 p.m.
North Coos 12, Hidden Valley 2
LG Matusik, Morgan Steven (4) and Caleb Richter; August Baker and Seth Cheser. 2B—NC: Dallas McGill.
North Coos 7, Hidden Valley 4
Isaac Hill, Coughlin Shults (3), Ryan Harry (3) and Bode Kissel; Brylee Anderson, Jake Simmons (4), Lucas Moe (6), Dallas McGill (7) and Ian Spalding. 2B—HV: Coughlin Shults; NC: Jayden Frank, McGill.