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Posted May 17/14 - Rockets finish season 13-8 after elimination at district tournament

DISTRICT TOURNAMENT
Tenino 8, Castle Rock 5

Hoquiam 18, Castle Rock 4 (6 innings)

From The Daily News
A coaching gamble backfired in the opener, the defense went slack in the consolation bracket and the Rockets slumped to an early exit to the Southwest 1A District tournament Tuesday at home.

Rock was up 5-1 against Tenino entering the bottom of the fourth when coach Joe Bair went to his bullpen to relieve ace Nate Williamson.

The Beavers responded with five runs on two walks, two hit batters and a pair of errors in that frame alone to take a 6-5 lead.

Williamson went 3 for 3 with two RBIs and two stolen bases at the plate and Jacob Booth 2 for 4 with two RBIs, but Rock’s final rally fell short in the sixth.

Castle Rock then surrendered six runs apiece in the fifth and sixth innings of its loser-out nightcap with Hoquiam as a 6-4 deficit became a 14-run hole.

“Some might think that I made a coaching error in the first game, pulling Nate up 5-1,” Bair said. “If you add that one, we had 16 errors today: We made 15 on the field, and if you want to count mine, that’s 16.”

Castle Rock finished its season at 13-8.

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Posted May 12/14 - Castle Rock sweeps White Salmon, earns Trico #3 seed

Castle Rock 8, White Salmon 3
Castle Rock 13, White Salmon 2

By Matt Pentz of The Daily News
Carson Horton threw a complete game and had a three-run double in the opener as Castle Rock swept White Salmon 8-3 and 13-2 in the Southwest 1A Trico Division baseball finale Saturday at home.

The result allows Rock (9-5 in league, 13-6) to leapfrog La Center and claim the Trico’s third seed to next week’s 1A district tournament. The Rockets will host Tenino in the opening round Tuesday at noon.

Horton allowed just three hits and struck out 11 in Game 1, while Andy Voelker went 3 for 4, Mason Klingberg finished 2 for 2 with a double and Robbie Simpson was a defensive standout in center field.

In the nightcap, Nate Williamson went 2 for 4 with two RBIs, T.J. Catlin had a two-run home run and Nathan Carroll earned the win on the mound and was 2 for 3 at the plate.

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Posted May 8/14 - Castle Rock survives late R.A. Long surge at Story Field

Castle Rock 6, R.A. Long 4 (non-league)


By Matt Pentz of The Daily News
Castle Rock and R.A. Long were looking ahead to next week — its respective district baseball tournaments on the horizon.

The Rockets threw a pair of freshmen in Wednesday’s nonleague game at David Story Field and nearly half the usual Lumberjack starters were missing from the lineup card — “a preseason game at the end of the season,” Rock coach Joe Bair called it.

Castle Rock and R.A. Long got a glimpse of an even more distant future, as underclassmen played leading roles beneath the Lower Columbia lights as the Rockets survived a pair of late RAL rallies for a 6-4 nonleague victory. Read more at: The Daily News

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Posted May 8/14 - Todelo/Winlock sweeps Rockets in Trico doubleheader

Toledo/Winlock 6, Castle Rock 5 (13 innings)
Toledo/Winlock 5, Castle Rock 3

From The Daily News "Prep Baseball Roundup"
The Warhawks grabbed second place in the Trico with a sweep of the Rockets on Tuesday in Toledo.

T/W gave up just two walks in 20 innings, led by a gritty nine-inning performance from Wes Kuzminsky in Game 1 that saw him go toe to toe with an equally impressive Nate Williamson (nine innings, eight strikeouts, zero walks) from CR.

Conner Vermilyea tossed four shutout innings to take the Game 1 win, and Joel Martin and Dalton Yoder teamed up to limit CR to six hits in the nightcap.

“Our pitchers came in and threw well,” T/W coach Brian Demerast said.

“If you would have told me at the beginning of the year this is where we’d be sitting, I would have been ecstatic. These kids have come a long way.”

Vermilyea was the hero in more ways than one in the opener, with his two-out bloop single in the bottom of the 13th bringing home Gage Madill for the game-winning run after Madill singled and stole second.

“As soon as the ball was hit, (Madill) was gone,” Demerast said.

Following the same theme as the opener, Martin was the winning pitcher (5 1/3 innings, two strikeouts, five hits, two earned runs and one walk) and the offensive hero in the nightcap with a first-inning three-run home run. Yoder got the save with 1 2/3 scoreless innings, scattering one hit and one walk with one strikeout.

“I was really impressed with Toledo/Winlock,” CR coach Joe Bair said. “They played with a youthful energy about them, and we didn’t. ... They just played loose.”

Shawn Godinho was tabbed with the Game 1 loss for the Rockets, despite a valiant effort that saw him toss three scoreless frames leading into the 13th. Williamson was 3 for 5 with a double, T.J. Catlin had a two-run double and Andy Voelker two hits.

In Game 2, Mason Klingberg went all seven innings for CR. Williamson was 2 for 4 and Riley Grothen had an RBI double.

“Realistically both of those games could have gone either way,” Bair said. “We were a base hit away from winning both games.

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Posted May 1/14 - Rockets and La Center battle to split in twinbill

Castle Rock 7, La Center 5
La Center 13, Castle Rock 12 (9 innings)

From The Daily News "Prep Baseball Roundup"
The Rockets surrendered a seven-run lead in the nightcap to fall to the Southwest 1A Trico Division split Monday in Castle Rock.

“We controlled our own destiny with a 7-0 lead, but we didn’t play well enough to win,” Rock coach Joe Bair said.

Nate Williamson picked up the complete-game victory in Game 1 for the Rockets (7-3 in league, 10-4) and went 2 for 4 with two doubles. T.J. Catlin and Andy Voelker also went 2 for 4, the former with a two-run home run and the latter a double.

In the nightcap, Voelker and Riley Grothen both went 3 for 5 with two doubles and three RBIs and Williamson finished 2 for 4 with a double.

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Posted Apr 29/14 - Rockets take two from Stevenson in Trico doubleheader

Castle Rock 11, Stevenson 3
Castle Rock 21, Stevenson 3 (5 innings)

From The Daily News "Prep Baseball Roundup"
The Rockets began a 10-games-in-12-days stretch with a Trico sweep Saturday in Castle Rock.

Carson Horton picked up the Game 1 win with five strikeouts in two innings, while T.J. Catlin went 2 for 2 with two doubles, Tanner Catlin 2 for 4 and Mason Klingberg added a two-run double.

Mason Klingberg went all five innings in the Game 2 win. Tanner Catlin and Colton Titus were both 2 for 2 with three RBIs apiece, Riley Grothen bashed a pair of doubles with three RBIs and Robbie Simpson was 2 for 4 with two RBIs.

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Posted Apr 21/14 - Rockets sweep Ilwaco in Trico twinbill

Castle Rock 28, Ilwaco 0
Castle Rock 44, Ilwaco 2

From The Daily News "Prep Baseball Roundup"
T.J. Catlin had a season of stats in the opener as the Rockets swept a Southwest 1A Trico Division doubleheader on Tuesday at Castle Rock.

Catlin went 5 for 5 with three doubles, a triple, a home run and nine RBIs.

“T.J. was trying for the cycle,” CR coach Joe Bair said. “He hit one ball over the left fielder’s head and stopped a first base, but the ball bounced over the fence for a ground-rule double.”

Nate Williamson tossed a one-hitter in the opener with seven strikeouts and a walk. Jacob Booth went 5 for 6 with three doubles and five RBIs, Shawn Godinho was 2 for 5 with four RBIs, Williamson was 4 for 5 with a double and Colton Titus was 2 for 4 with a double and two RBIs.

Carson Horton paced the Rockets in the nightcap with two doubles, a triple, a single and six RBIs. Riley Grothen was 4 for 5 with a double and five RBIs, Tanner Catlin was 4 for 5 with a double and five RBIs, Andy Voelker was 3 for 3 with two doubles and six RBIs and Robbie Simpson slapped a three-run triple.

Ilwaco (0-6 league and overall) hosts Naselle on Thursday. CR (4-2 league, 7-3 overall) hosts Stevenson on Tuesday.

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Posted Apr 15/14 - Rockets takedown #10 Rochester for non-league win

Castle Rock 6, Rochester 3 (non-league)

From The Daily News "Prep Baseball Roundup"
Castle Rock 6, Rochester 3: Rock’s strong defensive performance helped lead the way to a nonleague takedown of the tenth-ranked Warriors on Monday in Rochester. “The story for us was outfield play,” Rockets coach Joe Bair said. “We had some really nice plays. Robbie Simpson and Isaiah Akesson both made big diving catches in critical situations.” At the plate, Jacob Booth was 3 for 3 with two doubles, T.J. Catlin 2 for 3 with a two-run double, Mason Klingberg 2 for 2 with two RBIs and Nate Williamson 2 for 5.

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Posted Mar 21/14 - Rockets finish off Chinooks to complete Trico doubleheader sweep

Castle Rock 4, Kalama 3 (completion of postponed game from March 18)

From The Daily News "Prep Baseball Roundup"
It took three days and a jaunt to Story Field for both teams Thursday, but the Rockets finally finished off the Chinooks in the conclusion of a Southwest 1A Trico Division doubleheader. Robbie Simpson hit the game-winning sacrifice fly in the bottom of the seventh inning as CR (2-0) completed the sweep of a twin-bill that started Tuesday and was delayed after the sixth inning of Game 2 with the score tied at 3-all because of darkness.

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Posted Mar 20/14 - CR, Kalama run out of daylght in Trico doubleheader

Castle Rock 10, Kalama 0 (5 innings)
Castle Rock 3, Kalama 3 (postponed after 6 innings due to darkness)


By Matt Schubert, courtesy of The Daily News
Dave Orzel told his players to play the game of baseball exhausted.

It seems only right then that the Kalama-Castle Rock doubleheader played in the late coach’s honor soaked up every ounce of daylight Tuesday had to offer in Kalama... and still couldn’t be decided.

The visiting Rockets took the first game 10-0 in five innings behind ace Nate Williamson, then battled the Chinooks to a 3-3 draw through six innings of the second before play was halted because of darkness.

The game will be resumed Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. in Castle Rock.

“Damn Orzel... he always wanted the glory,” CR coach Joe Bair joked. “Now instead of getting one write up about him in the paper, there will be an article about him on Wednesday and one on Thursday.”

Orzel coached baseball at both Castle Rock and Kalama, guiding the latter to a pair of state trophies in the mid-2000s and assisting Bair at the former before dying of a heart attack at age 40 in January.

The two programs honored him with a ceremony between games at Tuesday’s Trico doubleheader, with Orzel’s father, Wayne, and 9-year-old son, Tyler, each throwing out pitches before a hushed crowd.

A hat was passed through both grandstands collecting money for a scholarship fund set up by the Orzel family that will be awarded annually to the area’s top senior. And umpires Dustin Williams, Marc Hewitt and Dave Crayne all donated their game checks to the cause.

Read the entire story at: CR, Kalama run out of daylight in Trico doubleheader

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