BREMERTON — A classic early-season pitching battle turned into a big win as the Trojans exploded for five runs in the top of the sixth inning to pull away from Bremerton and pick up an 8-2 victory on Friday at Knights Field in their first league game of the season.
Logan O’Neil pitched five innings, giving up four hits and striking out nine. First baseman Dylan Heino smashed a pair of doubles and drove in two runs.
O’Neil went toe-to-toe with Bremerton ace Andy McMartin, who had a fine outing on the mound in his own right, giving up just two earned runs and striking out five batters in four innings of work.
“It was a good battle for us to see where we’re at,” said Olympic head coach Chris Campbell, who picked up his first career league win as Trojans manager.
With the team ahead 3-2, Brayden Buchanan led off the top of the sixth by reaching on an error. Heino then hit a long fly ball to deep left center that hit off the top of the fence for a double that scored Buchanan from first.
Two batters later, Aidan Devany was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to bring in another run. Jarit Clarke then hit a sacrifice fly to center to bring home the fourth run of the inning.
Taylor Andrews also added an RBI-single to close out the scoring.
O’Neil settled down after the Knights picked up a couple of early runs. Infante led off the game with a single, stole second and third, and then scored on a wild pitch.
After an RBI-double by Ryan Saylor put Bremerton ahead 2-0, O’Neil struck out the next three batters to end the inning. He also escaped a bases load, one-out jam in the fifth by striking out consecutive batters.
“He’s going to be an important part for us,” Campbell said. “He took the ball and did his job really well. He gave us a really nice game today.”
But the two first-inning runs is all O’Neil would allow for Olympic. Relief pitcher Justin Finnegan came on and closed the door, though he would have to find a way out of his own sticky situation.
In the seventh, the Knights made a bid to get back into the game as McMartin, Saylor and Hunter Tipler each drew a walk to load the bases with two outs.
Antonio Garcia came up and hit a hard ground ball between first and second base. It looked like it could be trouble off the bat, but Heino ranged over to grab it, and Finnegan just barely beat Garcia to the bag to end the game.
“We loaded the bases and we had a chance to make a little noise,” said Bremerton head coach Steve Dickey. “We didn’t quite come through.”
Olympic 8, Bremerton 2
Oly 1 0 2 0 0 5 0 — 8 9 1
Brem 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 — 2 5 3
WP: O’Neil LP: McMartin
Olympic — O’Neil 5 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 9 K; Finnegan 2 IP, H, 3 BB, 3 K.
Bremerton — McMartin 4 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 5 K; Infante 2 IP, 3 H, 5 R, 2 ER; Tipler IP, H.
Olympic — Heino 3-4, 2 2B, 2 RBI, R; Andrews 2-4, RBI, R; Buchanan 1-4, RBI, 2 R; Jeter 1-3, 2B, R; Devany 1-3, RBI, R.
Bremerton — Saylor 1-2, 2B, RBI; Infante 1-4, R, 2 SB; Farley 1-4; Tipler 1-3; McMartin 1-2, 2 BB, R.
— Mark Krulish is a reporter for Kitsap News Group. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @MKrulishKDN.