Flames open American Legion regional with win

August 8, 2013 

Colin Serkowski pitched into the eighth inning, and Jake Browne homered and drove in a pair of runs to help Hanford get off to a quick start in the Flames’ 9-3 win over the Stayton Canyon Crushers of Salem, Ore., on the opening day of the American Legion Pacific Northwest Regional baseball tournament at Swede Johnson Stadium in Eugene.

The Flames (40-19), winners of 30 of their last 32 games, play the Montana state champion Billings Royals (30-19) at 5 p.m. today after the Royals dispatched Cheyenne, Wyo., 15-2.

Hanford coach Nat Roe said his team’s three first-inning runs were huge.

“It was the perfect moment for us coaches to say these guys we’re playing are not better, no different than what we saw at state.”

That was key, Roe said, considering this is the deepest Hanford has ever gone in the postseason.

Browne had an RBI single in that first inning, bring around leadoff hitter Finn McMichael after he got the first of his three singles.

A pair of walks to Trevor Jones and Ryan Neal in front of Browne paid off with bases-loaded passes to Brady Heid and Jacob Anderson after. Stayton Canyon starter Alex Emerson never did find a comfort zone and left in the fourth inning with six walks, eight hits and seven earned runs on his line.

Serkowski also had some early control troubles, hitting two of the first three batters he faced. But he settled down to escape the inning, struck out the side in the second and was more than good enough as the Flames built up a 7-1 lead after four innings.

Even without his best stuff, Roe said, “His heart is always ‘A.’ Ski gave us that.”

Browne hit a solo shot in the third to answer’s Stayton Canyon’s first run, and Hanford stuck three more on the board in the fourth, once again started up by McMichael.

He singled up the middle with one out, moved up on a wild pitch and scored on Serkowski’s double down the left-field line. Jones and Neal hit back-to-back singles, the latter scoring Serkowski. Browne walked to load the bases, and Heid got his second RBI of the day on a free pass.

McMichael finished 3-for-5, while Jones, Neal and Browne each had two hits, and Anthony Pocaro added a double.

Serkowski left in the eighth with seven strikeouts, seven hits, two earned runs, two walks and four hit batters. Nate Mitchell came on and gave up just a hit in his two innings.

Flames 9, Crushers 3
STAYTON CANYON HANFORD
ab r h bi ab r h bi
Burger 2b 4 0 2 1 McMichael lf 5 2 3 0
Gardner cf-rf 5 0 0 0 Serkowski p-1b 4 1 1 1
Emerson p-cf 4 0 2 2 Jones cf 4 3 2 0
Fessler 3b-p 4 0 0 0 Neal 3b-2b 4 1 2 2
Wyatt 1b 2 0 0 0 Browne c 4 1 2 2
Harryman ss 4 0 2 0 Heid ss 3 0 0 2
Hochspeier lf 3 0 0 0 Colson rf 4 0 1 0
Sawyer ph-lf 1 0 0 0 Anderson 1b 3 1 1 1
Gilham rf-3b 3 1 0 0 Mitchell p 0 0 0 0
Gates c 3 2 2 0 Peterson 2b 2 0 0 0
Lindquist ph 1 0 0 0
Pocaro 3b 1 0 1 1
Totals 33 3 8 3 Totals 35 9 13 9
Stayton Canyon 001 010 100 — 3
Hanford 301 300 11x — 9
E—Burger, Serkowski 2, Peterson. DP—Stayton Canyon 2, Hanford 2. LOB—Stayton Canyon 9, Hanford 9. 2B—Serkowski, Jones, Pocaro. HR—Browne.
IP H R ER BB SO
Stayton Canyon
Emerson L 3 1-3 8 7 7 6 0
Fessler 4 2-3 5 2 1 1 3
Hanford
Serkowski 7 7 3 2 2 7
Mitchell 2 1 0 0 0 0
WP—Emerson, Serkowski 2. HBP—by Serkowski (Burger, Emerson, Gilham, Wyatt). Umpires—H, Scott Rice; F, Dwaine Schettler; T, John Black. T—2:25. Att—400.

Pacific Northwest Regional
At Swede Johnson Stadium
Eugene, Ore.
Thursday
Game 1, Montana 15, Wyoming 2
Game 2, Idaho 12, Hawaii 9
Game 3, Hanford 9, Oregon 3
Game 4, Alaska vs. Eugene, late
Today
Loser out
Game 5, Wyoming (50-24) vs. Oregon (35-13), 10 a.m.
Game 6, Hawaii (18-4) vs. loser 4, 1 p.m.
Championship bracket
Game 7, Montana (30-19) vs. Hanford (40-19), 5 p.m.
Game 8, Idaho (44-13) vs. winner 4, 8 p.m.

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