Yelm baseball defeats Timberline twice to earn first series sweep of the season

Team has more conference wins through four games than all of last year


Yelm High School’s baseball program is picking up steam in South Sound Conference action, following the sweep of SSC opponent Timberline on Monday, March 25, and Wednesday, March 27. 

With the sweep over the Blazers, the Tornados sat with a 3-1 record in the SSC and sported a 4-5 record, overall. In 2023, Yelm concluded the season with just two conference wins. Through four SSC matchups, the Tornados have already surpassed their conference win total from the previous season. 

“Obviously it felt really good to take two (wins) from one of the top teams in the league, top four in state last year,” head coach Dakota Hill said. “The challenge now is to not get too high and get bit because this game will get you when you aren’t hungry.”

Sophomore pitcher Quillen Hadley surrendered just two earned runs on four hits in 4 1/3 innings in Yelm’s first contest against the Blazers on March 25. His teammate Barrett Schnetz was lockdown in relief for the Tornados as he pitched 2 1/3 innings for Yelm. He allowed just one hit and one walk, and struck out one opposing batter. 

At the plate, sophomore third baseman Jonah Smith and sophomore catcher Jackson Ford led the team with three hits apiece. Ford scored one run for the Tornados, while Smith added an RBI and a run of his own. Junior center fielder Wyatt Robison collected an RBI for the Tornados, while his teammate and running mate in the outfield, junior Colby Ward, collected two RBIs during his one-hit day. Senior Jack Verone added a run for the Tornados, securing a 5-3 victory over Timberline. 

The Blazers scored first behind a run in the top of the fourth inning. The Tornados immediately responded with a four-run scoring outburst in the bottom of the inning. The Blazers cut the Tornados lead to 4-3 in the fifth inning but weren’t able to cross home plate again. Yelm added a safety run in the bottom of the sixth inning, making the contest 5-3. 

Yelm’s strong pitching continued in the second matchup of the series on Wednesday, March 27, at Timberline, as Robison and Smith combined for seven shutout innings on the mound. 

Yelm starter Robison pitched six shutout innings behind five strikeouts. He allowed two hits and walked two batters. Smith, who entered the contest in the seventh inning, slammed the door shut on Timberline and didn’t allow a runner to reach base in the final frame. 

Behind the strong pitching performance, Yelm’s offense exploded for nine runs in the team’s final SSC matchup against Timberline. 

Yelm jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the top of the first inning and added a security run in the fourth inning and two more in the sixth inning to secure a 9-0 shutout over the Blazers. The Tornados offense combined for 12 hits in the conference matchup. 

The top of the Tornados batting lineup had an extremely productive day as sophomore outfielder Wesley Thompson, Myers and Robison went a combined 7 of 10 at the plate, collecting five RBIs and six runs among them.

“They have done a great job not trying to do too much and sticking with the approach,” Hill said. “They hit the ball hard, and good things happen. The whole lineup was working a great approach on Wednesday. It was awesome to see.”

Schnetz, playing left field, collected one hit and two RBIs in the outing against Timberline. Sophomore first baseman Landan Halterman collected a walk and a run in his outing. Smith had another strong showing at the dish as he earned two hits and a run. Ward posted one hit and scored a run. 

Following the series against Timberline, Hill spoke highly of his two starting pitchers Hadley and Robison. 

“Throw strikes, and good things will happen,” Hill said. “Even if we give up hits, I would rather be in the zone than giving free passes. The starters did a great job with that.”

Later in the week, on Friday, March 29, Rochester High School defeated the Tornados, 9-2, in non-conference action.

On Monday, April 1, the Tornados traveled to Sehmel Homestead Park to play SSC opponent Peninsula. They lost to the Seahawks, 6-2, making their conference record 3-2.

The Tornados hosted the Seahawks on Tuesday, April 2, but results were not available before press time. 

Following a week-long hiatus for spring break, the Tornados will return to action at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, April 9, as the team travels to Capital High School for an SSC matchup with the Cougars.

The series will conclude on Wednesday, April 10, in Yelm. 

“They are ready. They just need to stay confident and believe they belong with the top teams in the state because they do. We have to come into each game expecting to win,” Hill said. 

“We’ll really try not to focus on who we are playing, but focus on playing the game” he added. “If we take care of our ABs and execute pitches, good things will happen.”