Hatchets host Miles Invitational

May 15—A young Washington baseball team learned that hard way on Saturday how just one bad inning can be disastrous in an 8-4 loss to Class A No. 9 Shakamak in the opening game of the Tom Miles Invitational.

Leading 4-3 and with starting pitcher Alton Ostby seemingly on cruise control through five innings, Shakamak (12-7) reached the freshman Hatchet hurler for five runs to take the lead for good over Washington (7-15).

After Ostby gave up two runs in the first frame and another run in the second inning, he pitched back-to-back perfect innings, then pitched out of two-out trouble in the fifth while facing the top of the Lakers order. But Shakamak plated five runs on five hits in the decisive sixth, which also included a costly Hatchet error, one of four WHS miscues in the game.

Ostby finished with four strikeouts and just one walk while surrendering eight hits in taking the loss for coach Steve Reed.

"Alton battled his butt off. This is his fourth start, and every time he's been out there he's had good stuff for a freshman," said Reed. "He's got some confidence in himself, and it shows. A lot of times we don't play the best defense for him.

"That's been our season. We have just not been able to play a clean seven," said Reed. "A lot of times it's hard for high school kids to play a clean seven, but you can't make four, five, or six errors a game, and that's what we've been doing."

After Shakamak's two-run first the Hatchets rebounded with a four-run outburst in the bottom of the inning, reaching Lakers starter Jaxon Cox for five hits. Trey James, Hunter Walls, Zayne Tolliver, Ostby and Braxton Nathan all collected hits during the frame, and it looked like Cox's time on the hill would come to an early end.

But the Shakamak righthander rebounded, allowing just five hits the rest of the way in a complete game effort.

"We had the big four spot in the first inning, and that was it," said Reed. "We had a chance to add on in the middle and left a lot of guys on base.

"The ironic thing is, we get four on their starter, and he finishes the game," said Reed. "That's a credit to that kid, that's mental toughness, that's what that is. When you give up a four spot in the first inning and then you finish the game, that's mental toughness, so you tip your hat to that guy."

Trailing 8-4 entering the bottom of the seventh, Washington made a bid to tie the contest when the Hatchets filled the bases with two outs. But Cox was able to Brody Clark to bounce back to the mound and Cox threw on to first base for the final out.

Washington did claim third place in the tourney with a 12-8 win over North Harrison in the consolation game, a contest that saw WHS score 11 runs in the bottom of the fifth inning.