Port Angeles pitcher Brian Guttormsen throws in the first inning against Peninsula on Saturday at Port Angeles Civic Field. (KEITH THORPE/PENINSULA DAILY NEWS)

Port Angeles pitcher Brian Guttormsen throws in the first inning against Peninsula on Saturday at Port Angeles Civic Field. (KEITH THORPE/PENINSULA DAILY NEWS)

PIERRE LaBOSSIERE COLUMN: Something special seems to be brewing with PA baseball, softball

If you get a chance, get out to Civic Field, Volunteer Field or Dry Creek Elementary sometime this spring to catch either the Port Angeles baseball team or the Roughriders’ softball team.

Because something really special seems to be brewing with both squads.

The two teams have identical records of 8-1. The softball team lost its one game to 3A Liberty, which went 25-4 last year and made the 3A state tournament.

The baseball team lost its one game 6-5 to Olympic and had the tying and winning runs on base in the bottom of the seventh. One big hit and the Roughriders’ boys could be 9-0 right now. They’ve won three straight since that loss.

The baseball team so far has logged two no-hitters, with Colton Romero throwing the bulk of the no-hit innings (Brayden Martin had two no-hit innings in one of Romero’s victories). They have three shutouts total, have 10-runned three opponents, and have also pitched a two-hitter and three three-hitters. In nine games this season, the Riders have allowed 31 hits and 23 runs.

If anything, the softball team has been even more dominant. They have outscored their opponents 86-19 and five out of their nine games have ended on the 10-run rule.

Most impressive stat

Here’s the most impressive stats for both teams. In nine games, the softball team has committed six errors. The baseball team four. I hate to say it, but I’m used to seeing high school teams kick the ball around a bit. Not the Roughriders. The teams have combined for 12 errorless games.

So, they’re doing it with pitching, hitting and defense. There doesn’t appear to be a weakness to either team.

The baseball team has some power, but I’ve also seen them lay down three perfect bunts — two for base hits and the third bringing a runner home from third on a squeeze. From playing baseball, I know how hard it is to lay down a “perfect” bunt. I never did get the hang of it.

I thought the Port Angeles baseball team might be good this year. They were pretty good last season at 10-4 in league and 15-7 overall, qualifying for the state 2A tournament. But I didn’t quite expect this level of dominance, especially after they graduated their best pitcher from last year, Kole Acker, who is now pitching at the community college level.

This is a team determined to not only return to state but do damage once they get there. The Roughriders host a Sequim team Tuesday that has won two straight. The big power of the Olympic League this year might be Bainbridge again. The Riders don’t see the Spartans until April 22. Bainbridge goes into the 3A postseason for one more year.

The softball team was also pretty good last year — 10-4 in league and 19-8 overall — but were outshined by state champion North Kitsap, which went 25-0 on the season.

North Kitsap hasn’t had a chance to play much this year — so far the Vikings have only played four games and they are 4-0. The Riders get their first crack at the defending state champions Tuesday on the road in Poulsbo. It will be interesting to see how Port Angeles measures up to the Vikings this year.

Port Angeles gets a ton of power hitting from Natalie Robinson, who already has six home runs, three doubles and two triples and a Ruthian OPS (on-base plus slugging) of 1.820. They’re getting great pitching from Heidi Leitz and big contributions from sophomores such as Lynzee Reid and Kennedy Rognlien.

The Riders girls are certain to return to state. They came up one game short of placing at state last year and seem better this season. Can they beat North Kitsap this year? It will be fun to see Tuesday.


Sports Editor Pierre LaBossiere can be contacted at pierre.labossiere@peninsulanews.us.

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