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Trojans end PAs season
t Olys Purser, bats rock Roughriders.
By AARON MANAGHAN
Olympic pitcher Ronnie Purser was shivering for good reason Thursday night.
The senior lefty pitched a five-inning complete game in the Trojans 15-4 domination of Port Angeles in a loser-out Olympic League playoff game at the Kitsap Fairgrounds Ballfields.
At a boy! fellow senior and Oly second baseman Jeremy Huffman said, leaping into Pursers arms in celebration. Shortly after, Purser was mobbed by six more teammates.
Then, as Purser was being interviewed following the game, he got the biggest surprise: an ice water bath.
I cant describe it, Purser said. Its the best feeling in the world. We worked hard all season and came out and killed the team that beat us twice this year.
Olympic fell to Port Angeles 7-1 and 3-1 in mid-April this season. As a result, the Roughriders hurdled Oly to the No. 2-seed in the Olympic League playoffs, sponsored by Benek Corporation and the Baumgartner family.
But that didnt keep Oly from heating up at the right time.
We knew we could beat them, senior Tristan Marshall said. We didnt play our best when we played them the other two times. Were pumped up.
The scoring began early as Oly (11-10) jumped out to a 5-0 lead against the Roughriders (10-6). But a two-run homer by PAs Brett Moore that just got out down the left field line narrowed the gap to 5-4 and had coach Nate Andrews a little worried.
Ill be honest. It was kind of like déjà vu all over again, Andrews said. We get complacent and teams scratch and claw back in.
Not this time.
But today wasnt like that at all, Andrews said. We didnt have any kind of fear.
The Trojans piled up a run in the fourth, the calm before the fifth innings nine-run storm that allowed the Trojans to pick up the five-inning win.
Weve been so down, Andrews said. I just felt like we were in a little bit of a rut. Then today, geez louise. We got hits up and down the lineup.
Elliot Thorsen went 2-2 with a pair of doubles to become the schools single-season doubles record holder with 9, one better than Lonnie Webster in 1998 and Austin Hendershot in 2001.
Catcher Bryan Deszell topped the teams single-season RBI mark with his 1-3 effort that drove one in. Deszell scored twice.
The Trojans had 15 hits in the game, with Tristan Marshall going 2-3 and scoring thanks to his brother Tyler Marshalls 3-4, 2-RBI effort.
Huffman went 2-4 with 2 runs and Jimmy Groat was 2-4 with 2 RBI. Purser helped his own cause with a 2-3, 3-RBI effort.
Purser said it was great to see everything come together in what he called his biggest game as a Trojan.
Everything. Weve been struggling all year, he said. We came out to play today. Everyone hit today. Thats what I like to see. I cant describe the feeling.
The win means the Trojans battled Peninsula Friday night for the Olympic League Championship and the leagues top seed to districts. Results were unavailable at press time.
The win against PA should give the Trojans a nice boost, Purser said.
If we keep hitting the ball like we did today, theyre going down, he said of the undefeated Seahawks. Thats all we need to do.
Tristan Marshall agreed.
I think were gonna be real confident, he said. Everyone is pumped up.
While the Seahawks are the favorites, Andrews points to this seasons 10-9 loss to Peninsula, a game the Trojans led.
Theyre a notch above everyone, Andrews said. But we were up in that game. Theyre beatable. They have some good pitchers, but not dominant. Right now, were just trying to play for those extra games.
Which gave the team more motivation heading in to Thursdays win.
We know them so well, Andrews said, particularly of his seniors. Honestly, its kind of like having a kid. We really want these guys to be successful. I really was a little disappointed with how we played. But again, I know they can play. We told them, If you play your best, you can beat anybody.
Making the playoffs for the first time, Tristan Marshall said its something the teams seniors have been looking forward to.
Its exciting that we finally get to make the playoffs, he said. Ever since Ive been here. Its just exciting.
One factor has helped that more than anything, Purser said.
This team, were all friends. Were not just a baseball team, Purser said. We all hang out outside of school. Were all friends. We all love each other. Were the definition of a team.
If the Trojans beat Peninsula twice Friday, theyll take the No. 1 seed and host the Seamount-Sount Puget Sound League No. 6.
If Oly lost, they play those leagues No. 2 team away. Both of those games are Tuesday with a 4 p.m. start time.