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Aloha wins first Metro series since '07

by: TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Aloha junior centerfielder Josh Williams had three hits and three RBIs against Sunset to help the Warriors win their first Metro series since 2007.

Aloha’s not done yet — far from it.

Left for dead by some after a logjam of luckless league contests that sent the Warriors to the Metro’s cellar, Aloha laid into Sunset with eight runs in the first three innings to take a 10-1 triumph, and a necessitated series win over the Apollos on Thursday.

Two wins over second-place Sunset was just what the doctor ordered for an Aloha team that’s been the cusp of a season turnaround and might’ve just found it with two series against Beaverton and Westview at hand.

“We showed people we can compete,” said Warrior senior outfielder Dylan Griffin. “We showed we can hit the ball well. We thought it’d be close because of how the first two went, We came out ready to play.”

“We wanted to make sure we could finish off the series and show ‘em what kind of team we really are,” added sophomore starting pitcher Brandon Eisert. “We wanted to show the other Metro teams that we have left that we can play with them.”

Griffin whipped the Warriors’ eruption of runs in the bottom of the first, gorging a two-RBI double to the gap in left that scored Taylor Nelson and Nate Christophersen and gave Aloha a 3-0 lead. Nelson got Aloha on the board first with an RBI single to right.

Junior centerfielder Josh Williams kept the scoring coming in the second, driving in Joseph Romero with an RBI single center to go up 4-0. Toby King’s single back up the middle plated Evan Lascelles to extend Aloha’s lead to 5-0.

by: TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Aloha starting pitcher Brandon Eisert threw five strong innings against Sunset to give the Warriors a 10-1 win.

After struggling to give their pitchers any kind of support the past eight games, the Warrior bats came around massively, just in time for their first series win since 2007.

“It was huge,” said Griffin of the fast start. “It brought a lot of confidence with us. I thought we needed to be more aggressive earlier in the season, so it was nice to be successful and put some runs on the board.”

With Eisert making quick work of the Apollos on the hill, Aloha was able to get back in the dugout in the third and score four more runs off the Sunset staff.

Williams’ second RBI single of the contest pushed Aloha’s advantage to 6-0, then Nelson nailed a bases-clearing double to right that was aided by an Apollo bobble in the outfield that made it 9-0.

Sunset centerfielder Kasey Porter said once Aloha got the big lead, Sunset started to get down on each other and couldn’t mentally get back in the ball game.

“(Aloha) came out and they had a lot of energy,” said Porter. “And, in our dugout we didn’t have a lot of energy. We did our best to try and pick everybody up...we just couldn’t find our groove. That’s baseball sometimes.”

by: TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Sunset relief pitcher Mikey Fey got out of a bases loaded jam in the third inning against Aloha.

“To me, this doesn’t mean anything,” added Sunset sophomore second baseman Justin Silvey. “I know we’ll bounce back as a team. I know we’ll come back and fight as hard as we can to win Metro.”

Sunset saved face and a 10-run decision in the fourth when first baseman Mark Iguidbashian’s sacrifice fly scored Porter to make it 9-1.

Yet, the Apollos couldn’t get anything going against the emerging Eisert who’s pitched like a Tuesday starter for most of the year, and threw five strong innings on Thursday. The sophomore southpaw said he wanted to throw strikes early in the count, and get ahead of the Apollo hitters so he could be the aggressor and dictator on the hill.

In five innings, Eisert allowed five base hits and struck out.

“I felt good,” said Eisert. “In the first inning, when I only let one guy on built my confidence up, and it just kept going up from there.”

In spite of Sunset’s recent skid, Porter pointed out he hasn’t lost any faith in his teammates and their ability to rally with six games to go in.

by: TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Sunset leftfielder Chad Maheu fires a ball back toward  the infield in the third inning against Aloha.

At 5-4 in Metro and just a game behind Jesuit for first place, the Apollos are sitting in a suitable spot with two remaining series versus Beaverton and Westview this week and next.

The team’s trust in each other is intact, though the Apollos say they need to remember the sensation of getting doused in unceremonious fashion.

“We should keep this feeling,” said Porter. “We should know what it feels like and use it as motivation to take it out on Beaverton and Westview in our last two series. We’ve kind of been smacked around by Westview the last couple years. We should come back and take it to ‘em.”

“We have to get back to making plays,” added Silvey. “We have to stay in the game, scrap. We’re not going to have 20 hits a game. We just have to go fight and win the game ourselves.”



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