By Jack Kintner
Blaine junior Daniel Gorze figured in back to back wins last week for the Borderite nine as the young team’s talent emerges.
“Our offense is getting better,” said head coach Gary Clausen, “as our kids are making some adjustments to their techniques, learning to not over swing, and their work and concentration is beginning to pay off.”
At home last Wednesday, Gorze’s triple in the fifth and then his trip home on a Meridian error lifted Blaine from a 3-2 deficit into a 3-3 tie. Dane Ulrich’s RBI double drove in what turned out to be Blaine’s fourth and winning run.
Left-handed pitcher Kyle Olason (1-0) pitched a five hit 9 strike-out masterpiece, settling down after a bit of a rough start like the experienced hand that he is. Blaine ended up with four runs on four hits and two errors, while Meridian had their three runs off five hits and five costly errors.
“Meridian is always competitive,” Clausen said, “even though this year they’re young. But we’re please with last week, as the pitching has been good and the offense is developing. Even the 2-0 loss at Mt. Vernon was positive. Greg [Grasher} pitched well and we had a good game defensively.”
Then last Friday against Mt. Baker high school in a game shifted to the Pipe from the Mountaineer’s muddy riverside diamond, Gorze moved from behind the plate to take over on the mound, pitching a 10-0 five-hit victory. Personally he gave up only two of the five hits and walked none of the 17 hitters he faced. Clausen said that he’s one of the few he’s coached to operate from both ends of the battery after moving in from his normal position last year as an infielder/pitcher.
Clausen played every uniform he had in the slugfest that saw Blaine convert 10 of their 12 hits into runs. Frosh Todd Bird pitched two no-hit innings on his own as well as going 3 for 4 at the plate. Brandon Bleecker playing shortstop went two for four and traded defensive gems, losing a third hit to Baker’s left fielder but robbing another Baker batter of a hit by going deep into the hole and somehow coming up with the ball.
Olason supported his own cause with an RBI single in the third. With the bases loaded and two out, Blaine junior second baseman Jordan Freeman came to the plate and smacked a three RBI double to run the score to 4-0.
Blaine’s next game is a make-up on Thursday, April 10, at 3:30 at Joe Martin field in Bellingham against Squalicum.
For the week of April 4
4-2 Meridian 1, Blaine 0
4-7 Blaine 3, Burlington 1
4-2 Blaine 4, Meridian 3
4-4 Blaine 10, Mt. Baker 0
4-7 Lakewood 10, Blaine 4
4-3 Squalicum 2, Blaine 1
4-7 Mt. Vernon 4, Blaine 0
4-2 Lynden 5, Blaine 2
4-3 Blaine 5, Ferndale 2
4-2 Blaine 86, Bellingham 58; Blaine 121.5, LC 23.5
4-2 Blaine 74.5, Bellingham 74.5; Blaine 101, LC 44
4-3 Lynden 407, Mt.Baker 439, Blaine 463, Ferndale 463