Thomas-led Pilots edge Chehalis in regional opener

The Ashland Pilots expect little pity from opponents at the American Legion A Northwest Regional tournament.

And after the first day, they aren't likely to receive any.

Despite fielding a roster of just 10 and starting five sophomores-to-be, Ashland won its regional opener 4-2 over Chehalis, Wash., on Wednesday at Volunteer Field in Anacortes, Wash.

Garrett Tygerson hit a two-RBI single in the third inning and Ian Kendall hit his 12th home run of the season, a two-run blast in the fifth for Ashland (35-9), which meets the Vauxhall Spurs &

the Montana/Alberta, Canada champions &

today at 4:30 p.m.

Pitcher Brady Thomas improved to 7-2 by pitching seven innings, walking three and striking out four.

"He kept us in the game," said Ashland's fill-in coach Don Senestraro of Thomas. "We played big defense and had timely hitting. The kids are really excited. We're happy to be here. Hopefully we can bring back a regional championship to Oregon."

Six players from the Pilots squad this season, many of them key contributors, did not make the trip for various reasons. Senestraro is filling in for regular coach Royce Miller.

"The other kids stepped up," Senestraro said. "It's great experience for them. We have a lot of confidence in them and it shows up with wins in the end."

Trailing 1-0, Ashland got on the board in the third when Jake Scarminach and Nicholas Hall reached with consecutive singles. Kendall followed with a double but Scarminach was tagged out at home. Tygerson followed with a two-RBI single.

Hall, who reached after getting hit by a pitch, scored on Kendall's homer in the fifth.

Chehalis 010 001 000 "" 2 8 0

Ashland 002 020 000 "" 4 6 1

Hall, Burgos (9) and C. Smith; Thomas, Tygerson (8) and Hegdahl. W &

Thomas (7-2). L &

Hall. 2B &

A: Kendall. HR &

A: Kendall (12).

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