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Local Teams Headed to District Playoffs

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Joel Martin (#9) finishes his home run trot after hitting a three run shot over the left field fence. The entire Warhawk team is waiting at home plate to congratulate him. Martin helped T/W to a 5-3 victory in the second game of a doubleheader sweep of Castle Rock.

The upstart Warhawks from Toledo/Winlock are going to go out with a bang. As the combined baseball team from Toledo and Winlock enters post season, it did a number on neighboring Castle Rock in 1A Trico League play on May 6.

The Warhawks, who came in third in the league standings, swept a doubleheader by the scores of 6-5 and 5-3. The first game went 13 innings while the second game went a quick seven.

After the two wins, T/W, took second and moved Castle Rock to third in the Trico League standings.

One key to the victories was just two walks given up by Warhawk pitching in 20 innings of baseball.

Pitching was huge on the day as Wes Kuzminsky went nine innings for T/W supported by four innings by Connor Vermilyea in game one. Joel Martin and Dalton Yoder allowed the Rockets just six hits in game two.

In close games Nate Williamson and Mason Klingberg also received kudos for their pitching performances for Castle Rock.

Off the mound, it was Vermilyea who delivered the clutch hit. With Gage McDill on second, Vermilyea hit a bloop single into the Bermuda triangle in shallow center field and the speedy McDill had no problem touching home and ending the marathon first game.

“Coming into this, they were in second and we were in third, a game behind and we knew that it was going to be a close game,” said T/W head coach Brian Demerest. “I didn't know it would go 13 innings. I am happy with it. The season has gone really well. Our young kids are steppin' up and playing good ball and our older kids are starting to mesh.”

In game two, the Warhawks put a beastly Joel Martin on the mound who immediately paved the way for his own victory with a three run jack just over the left field fence in the first inning.

“They are kind of the way we were a couple of years ago,” said CR Head Coach Joe Bair of the Warhawks. “They are young. They play loose and honestly we tightened up. We struck out a lot and we flew out a lot. It is a humbling game.”

Despite this setback, Bair says that it has been a great season for the Rockets.

“We have a lot of seniors that have played multiple years on varsity,” he said. “They have just kind of set the example for us.”

Both teams now look toward the Southwest 1A tournament beginning Tuesday at Rochester, Tenino, and Rochester.

After sweeping White Salmon on Thursday finishing the regular season 9-5 in league, and 13-6 overall, CR now faces Rochester at Rochester at noon Tuesday in the first round.

Toledo/Winlock finished the season 10-4 in the league and 11-6 on the season and will play Elma in the first round at noon on Tuesday at Tenino.

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