By Ian Ferguson
Coming off a loss to Sedro-Woolley, the Blaine baseball team earned a convincing victory against county rivals Mount Baker.
The Borderites won the Northwest Conference (NWC) matchup 18–1 on April 21.
“They’re a young team,” said Blaine coach Larry Hoffman of the Mountaineers. “I was really happy with the way our guys swung the bat today. They hit the ball really hard.”
Anthony Ball started on the mound for Blaine, pitching four innings. He earned seven strikeouts, no walks and one hit.
“He was great. He threw strikes and did a nice job for us,” Hoffman said.
Rudy Nolasco pitched the last inning for Blaine, earning three outs in a row.
At bat, the Borderites scored runs in every inning and earned a total of 22 hits.
Jonathan Starcer hit 4–5 with two doubles, two runs and two RBI. Ben Hodgin hit 3–4 with three runs and two RBI. Nolasco went 2–3, hitting a triple in the first inning that scored two runs and gave the Borderites a 5–0 lead. Brenden Riddle hit 3–4 with three runs. Ball hit 2–4 and Jared Vogee hit 2–5.
“They had a young guy on the mound who battled, but we did a good job at the plate. Anytime you can get 22 hits in a game you feel pretty good about it,” Hoffman said.
The defense behind Ball and Nolasco was solid, committing only one error. The game ended early due to the 10-run mercy rule.
With the win, the Borderites are 5–3 in conference and 8–7 overall. They sit in fifth place among 2A NWC teams, a position they need to maintain or improve to reach the district tournament. With a tough five games ahead of them, the road won’t be easy.
“If we want to make district, we probably need to win three of our next five games, so we’re going to have to find a way to beat one of those upper-level teams,” Hoffman said.
The five remaining games of the regular season are against Anacortes, La Conner, Sehome, Meridian and Ferndale. The first opportunity to improve the team’s record against a strong NWC rival comes this Thursday, April 23 at home against Anacortes. The Seahawks are 4–2 in conference and 8–4 overall.
“Anacortes usually has a solid team, and they are looking good this season,” Hoffman said. “We’re going to have to pitch well, play good defense and hopefully scrape out a few runs against good pitching. We’ve done that against tough teams earlier this season; we beat Burlington-Edison, and we came close against Ferndale. We’re fully capable of doing it, we just need to bring our best game.”
The home game against Anacortes begins at 4:30 p.m.