Outstanding Starting Pitching, Balanced Lineup Lead Bruins to Vancouver Championship

The Columbia High Bruins celebrated their first Max Beatty Baseball Invitational championship last Saturday by posing for a post-trophy presentation team photo. The Bruins defeated Ilwaco and Washougal during the one-day tournament at Fort Vancouver High School to capture the top prize. (Submitted photo)


For the first time since the Max Beatty Baseball Invitational’s inception in 2012, a team other than Washougal won the championship.

Last year, the one-day tournament at Fort Vancouver High School was rained out, so Washougal didn’t get a chance to go for a sixth title in succession. This year, a school other than Washougal was crowned the victor at the end of round-robin play.

Columbia High bucked the historical trend and walked away with its first Max Beatty championship, thanks to victories over 2B Ilwaco and 3A Washougal last Saturday at the Fort.

Bruins 16, Fishermen 1 (5 innings): CHS smacked 20 hits and senior right-hander Adam Goodwillie scattered six hits in a complete-game, mercy-rule win.

Goodwillie allowed an earned run struck out four, and didn’t walk any in the Bruins’ opening game of the 2018 season.

Plus, he helped his own cause by going 3 for 4 at the bat with a double and two runs scored.

Seniors William Gross and Tylan Webster, and sophomore Davis Koester all had three hits as well. Gross finished with a team-leading three runs batted in.

Junior Trenton Howard collected two triples in three at-bats, and senior Chad Curtis went 2 for 4.

Senior Jarin Musgrove, juniors Trevor Cooper and Dominic Raether, and freshman Austin Charters each contributed one hit

Columbia led 6-1 after 4 innings thanks to a 5-run rally in the top of the fourth. The Bruins pushed their lead to double digits in the fifth with a 10-run outburst fueled by eight hits.

A big highlight for CHS batsmen? Zero strikeouts among their 15 total outs.

Bruins 9, Panthers 3 (7 innings): Columbia erased a 3-1 deficit with a 4-run rally in the bottom of the second en route to winning the Max Beatty trophy.

The key hit was a bases-clearing triple by Shad Curtis that gave CHS the lead at 5-3. The Bruins tacked on two runs in both the fourth and fifth innings and shut out the Panthers after the second to post their second victory of the new season.

William Gross picked up the decision for CHS. He threw 6 innings, gave up three runs on seven hits and one walk, and struck out eight. Davis Koester pitched a scoreless seventh to lock down the win.

Washougal pitchers checked CHS on seven hits, but the Bruins found ways to get on base manufacture runs.

In the first, Trenton Howard and Gross led off with walks. Tylan Webster reached on an infield single to load the bases. Koester singled to drive in Howard.

In the fourth and fifth frames, Howard and Gross both scored to give Gross a thicker cushion.

For Columbia, clean-up man Webster produced two hits and two RBI. Howard, Gross, Koester, Curtis, and junior Sean McMahon all had a hit apiece. Howard and Gross both were 1 for 1 with three walks and three runs scored.

Howard, moreover, tallied three stolen bases against the Panthers and finished the day with five steals.

It was a great early-season test for the Bruins, who faced the Panthers’ Nole Thompson, a 6-3 lefty bound for Northwest Nazarene. Thompson lasted only 3 innings as CHS got to him for seven runs on five hits and five walks, and limited its strikeouts to three.

Gross allowed a run on three hits in the opening frame and. He trailed 3-1 before the CHS uprising in the second staked him to a lead he didn’t come close to relinquishing.

Coming up: The Bruins continued their pre-season schedule Monday with a single game at Stanfield, Ore. The Tigers return the visit on Tuesday, March 20, for CHS’s 2018 home opener at Hecomovich Field. That contest will mark the start of a five-game homestand for Columbia.

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