The Ocosta Wildcats won their third straight 2B Pacific League title when they beat Raymond 17-0 in the opener of a doubleheader on Saturday in Raymond.
The Wildcats then finished off their league schedule with a thrilling walk-off win in the nightcap.
Ocosta 17, Raymond 0
Ocosta scored five runs in three straight innings and got a no-hit performance from starting pitcher Cole Hatton en route to a 17-0 five-inning victory in the first game of a doubleheader against Raymond on Saturday in Raymond.
The win clinched the 2B Pacific League for Ocosta (17-2 overall, 15-1 Pacific 2B), which lead Raymond by two games entering the twin bill.
Hatton continued his season-long dominance on the mound, tossing five innings of no-hit baseball.
The junior right-hander was sharp and aggressive in the strike zone, throwing first-pitch strikes to 12 of the 16 batters he faced. Forty-nine of Hatton’s 74 pitches were for strikes.
All 15 outs Hatton recorded were via the strikeout.
“Game 1 was all about Cole Hatton,” Ocosta head coach Mike Allton said. “We rode him on the mound and he was very efficient. It was fun to watch.”
Up 2-0 in the top of the third, the Wildcats offense began to put up crooked numbers, scoring five runs in the third, fourth and fifth innings.
Cesar Martinez did the most damage for Ocosta, going 3-for-4 with two doubles, three runs scored and four RBI.
Jayden Matthews also had a solid game at the plate. Matthews went 2-for-3 with two runs scored and three RBI, including driving in a run on a sacrifice fly.
Colby Scheuber, Jose Sevilla, Issac O’Hagan and Hatton also had multi-hit games for an Ocosta team that recorded 16 hits in the game.
Seagulls starter Jack Jordan took the loss for Raymond (12-5, 11-5), allowing seven earned runs in 2 1/3 innings of work.
Mason Crawford relieved Jordan and allowed six earned runs on nine hits in 2 2/3 innings pitched.
Ocosta 9, Raymond 8
Cole Hatton’s bases-loaded single chased home Jose Sevilla and Harley Figueroa with the tying and winning runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to beat Raymond 9-8 in the nightcap.
Trailing 8-7 heading into the frame, Ocosta managed to load the bases with one out when Kobe Beck walked off Raymond reliever Jack Jordan.
Hatton then lined an 0-1 pitch to center field, scoring Sevilla and Figueroa to win the game in walk-off fashion.
Beck, who started for Ocosta, held a 5-1 lead after three innings but things fell apart for the Wildcats in the top of the fourth inning. Beck ran into trouble after hitting Cesar Delgado to open the inning followed by a walk and an error that cut Ocosta’s lead to 5-2.
After allowing runs on a fielder’s choice and a walk, Beck was replaced by reliever Colby Scheuber.
But the first batter Scheuber faced — Raymond’s Mason Crawford — singled to score Adan Vasquez to tie the game at 5-5.
But Raymond wasn’t done, taking a 7-5 lead on an Ocosta error. Two batters later, Raymond took an 8-5 lead on an RBI single over a drawn in infield by Hayden Stephens.
“It was one of the flukiest innings we had all year,” Allton said of the fourth, which included Stephens’ fisted bloop single that didn’t reach the outfield grass. “(Raymond) had all the momentum. We weren’t hitting the panic button yet, but the game took a weird turn.”
Ocosta trimmed the Raymond lead to 8-7 with a pair of runs in the bottom of the fifth, highlighted by Martinez’s leadoff home run and an RBI single off the bat of Figueroa.
Allton said Martinez’s blast that cleared the left-field fence by an estimated 40 feet.
“He crushed it and we got the spark back,” he said. “We were kind of lethargic and dead and he put on a show. It was awesome and I was happy for him.”
Scheuber settled in to hold Raymond scoreless in the fifth and sixth before giving way to Hatton, who pitched a 1-2-3 seventh inning, striking out the side in the process.
“Cole only had 31 pitches left, so I gambled,” Allton said of the decision to put his ace back in trailing by a run. “He shut them down in the seventh.”
All 18 outs the junior right-hander recorded in the twin bill were via strikeout while completing the rare feat of winning both games of a doubleheader.
Jordan, who similar to Hatton, started the opener and relieved in the nightcap, lost both games.
“That’s bizarre,” Allton said of the same two pitchers winning and losing both games of a twin bill.
Ocosta takes on Naselle in a non-league matchup at 4 p.m on Monday in Naselle to close out the regular season.
While Raymond’s regular season is complete, they’ll keep an eye on the Ilwaco-PWV doubleheader scheduled for Tuesday.
The Seagulls currently sit in third place in league, a game behind PWV in the loss column for second place.
Ilwaco sits in fourth place, two games back of Raymond with three games left on the Fishermen’s schedule.
Based on what happens this week, Raymond could end up anywhere from No. 2 to No. 4 in the league.
Allton was proud of what his team has accomplished over the past three seasons.
“All the hard work the kids put in is paying off,” he said. “And what we’re building here is a quality championship program the kids and community can be proud of.”