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Trojans end strong season with loss in state
The Olympic High School baseball team played the final game of its season Saturday against W.F. West High.
The Trojans lost to the Bearcats 4-2 in the first round of the state tournament.
Olympic qualified for the state tournament the weekend prior with a victory over Klahowya in the district tournament.
Olympic pitcher Kipp Cartharius threw a no-hitter in that game. He was unable to deliver the same heat against a stronger W.F. West batting order, but he didn’t let the game get away from him either.
Head coach Nate Andrews said his team was in the game the entire time:
“We weren’t out of it, for sure.”
He did admit, though, that playing in Chehalis, on W.F West’s home turf, seemed to give an exra edge to the opposing team that the Trojans didn’t have.
“We didn’t really go into the game thinking it was a disadvantage, but I do know that playing at their home stadium definitely was a factor of some kind,” Andrews said.
The Trojans kept themselves within range of the Bearcats throughout the game Saturday, forcing the opposing defense to stay on its toes until the end of the final inning.
W.F. West earned its first run in the second inning when Ryan Steepy scored from third base following an error by Trojan third-baseman Shane Matheny.
Cartharius got them out of further trouble — he struck out the next batter looking.
The real trouble for Olympic came one inning later, in the bottom of the third.
Bearcat first baseman Tanner Gueller hit a triple off Cartharius, scoring a runner. He was brought in for another run on a single by the next batter.
By the end of the inning the Trojans found themselves down 4-0. But they wouldn’t go down that easily.
They got back two runs in the sixth.
Cartharius and Shane Matheny got on base through walks. D.J. Woljcek hit a double, scoring Matheny and advancing Cartharius to third.
Cartharius would score on a groundout by Noel Torres.
Despite bringing the game back to a manageable 4-2, Olympic couldn’t squeeze out two more runs in the final inning.
Coach Andrews said an injury to starting short stop Trevor Ward made things difficult on the team. Ward turned his ankle early in the game and lost much of his mobility.
Ward, in addition to starting for the team at short stop, is the Trojan’s lead-off hitter.
Even though the Trojans lost to W.F. West, coach Andrews counted the season as a success.
“We play our season all year long to get to that point (the state tournament),” Andrews said. “That is more important to us than winning a league championship or having an undefeated season.”
The Trojans are graduating five of their starters so Andrews said a number of younger players will have to step up to fill important roles on the team in 2014.
It won’t just be a rebuilding season, though. The team’s two big arms, Cartharius and Matheny will be seniors next year.
“That’s obviously a plus,” Andrews said. “The challenge is going to be for our younger guys.”
The Trojans last made it to state in 2008, where they lost in the first round to Kelso, 5-0.