The Thunderbirds (6-0 in 3A South, 9-0 overall) shut out Glacier Peak 7-0 on Tuesday, the fifth consecutive time they have held their opponents scoreless. In that stretch, Shorewood has outscored the opposition 47-0. Equally as impressive, the Thunderbirds have outscored opponents 82-5 in their nine victories.
"I think one of the reasons (for the streak of shutouts) is, the kids really have pride in their defense," Shorewood head coach Wyatt Tonkin said. "They kind of lift each other up. I emphasize, if we make the routine plays, the great ones will come along and we will be in good shape to make them. They put a lot of work in their defense."
Having dominant pitching doesn't hurt either. Riley O'Brien threw back-to-back no-hitters for the Thunderbirds this past week. Tuesday was Sam Boone's turn. The 6-foot-8, 215-pounder pitched a complete game three-hitter.
"He did everything we wanted him to do," Tonkin said. "He threw strikes, kept the ball down and let our defense play. It was outstanding. He had three good pitches that he could throw for strikes and worked the plate pretty well."
Boone worked his way through the Grizzlies' lineup without much struggle. Perhaps the biggest threat Glacier Peak (4-2, 6-3) posed was in the bottom of the seventh inning when it loaded the bases with two outs. But Boone struck out Dylan Peterson looking to end the game.
"They are undefeated for a reason," Glacier Peak head coach Bob Blair said. "They are a good team and that kid is a great pitcher. He's probably the best pitcher in the league."
The Thunderbirds got most of their runs with big hits, but opened the scoring in the first inning with more of a rare play when leadoff batter Cameron Sterne stole home.
"We've been working on that a lot," Tonkin said. "We have kind of been putting a clock on a few of the pitchers and then timing a running start to home plate and if we can beat them were going to do it. If we can get you thinking about it, it's a little less that you are going to be thinking about a pitch and location. It's another thing we can put in a pitcher's mind and it brings an infield in and opens up holes."
Sterne gave the Thunderbirds a 1-0 lead after the first inning. The Thunderbirds' big bats came out in the second and third inning.
With a runner on first and one out in the top of the second inning, first baseman Josh Wilkes homered off of Glacier Peak starter Mitchl Pohrman to give Shorewood a 3-0 lead.
"That kind of got us going," Tonkin said. "That was a pretty good stroke. We've been working on his stroke and just getting him to loosen up and let it flow. Boy, he did on that one."
Catcher Jake Bockelie added a two-run double in the top of the third inning and shortstop Kory Longaker hit an RBI double in the top of the fourth inning. The three extra-base hits accounted for five of the Thunderbirds seven runs, but Shorewood also sprinkled in a dash of small ball to go with its lineup of dangerous hitters.
"We like to put the game in motion," Tonkin said. "The more we can keep it in motion. The more you find little holes to hit through. We've got decent team speed. Not great, but decent team speed and every game out we are getting smarter at running the bases."
Aaron Lommers covers prep sports for The Herald. Follow him on twitter @aaronlommers and contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
At Glacier Peak H.S.
Shorewood 122 110 0--7 7 1
Glacier Peak 000 000 0--0 3 1
Sam Boone and Jake Bockelie. Mitchl Pohrman, Mitch Eatmon (4), Dylan Peterson (6) and Connor O'Donnell, Pohrman (6). WP--Boone. LP--Pohrman. 2B--Bockelie (S), Kory Longaker (S). HR--Josh Wilkes (S). Records--Shorewood 6-0 league, 9-0 overall; Glacier Peak 4-2, 6-3.
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