Kyle Olason is the undisputed star of the Blaine baseball team. He leads the Northwest conference (NWC) in strikeouts, has pledged to play baseball at the University of Washington and often has scouts at his games to watch him. Sophomore Nathan Trueblood has improved his resume to assume that position when Olason graduates.
Trueblood ascended the hill and proceeded to befuddle the NWC’s best team for a sparkling two hit, complete game shutting out the Mariners 1-0 and sending Blaine to the brink of the 2A state tournament.
Trueblood was forced into the starting lineup in the opening game of the double-elimination district tournament in Anacortes May 8 because Olason was used two days before to help the Borderites beat Granite Falls in the play-in game.
Trueblood, who has not won a game this season, was only asked to face the number one seed Sehome in the biggest game of the season and in his young career. Coach Gary Clausen couldn’t recall the last time Blaine had beaten the Mariners, which had easily swept the Borderites this season.
Trueblood calmly took on the task, keeping Sehome batters off-balance all day with an effective breaking ball that he mixed with well-located fastballs, striking out four Mariner batters.
Blaine manufactured the winning run in the sixth inning after a lead-off single by Dustin Dhanani, a Sehome error, a sacrifice fly and an RBI fielder’s choice by Tanner Weaver.
The upset victory now has Blaine in rarified air against Anacortes who also pulled off an unlikely victory by beating Cascade conference power Cedarcrest 4-2. The two upstarts will play each other in the championship bracket game Tuesday, May 11 at 6 p.m. in Anacortes.
Blaine swept the Seahawks in two games this year.
Olason masterful in play-in win over Granite Falls Borderite ace Kyle Olason saved his best game for last. Olason fanned a season-high 14 strikeouts as Blaine won the district play-in game at Granite Falls, beating the Tigers 4-3 Thursday, May 6. The University of Washington-bound ace improved his record to 5-1, giving up two walks and scattering seven hits.
The reward for the big win is a date with number one seed Sehome Saturday at 3 p.m. at Anacortes’ Volunteer field. The Mariners swept the Borderites this year. Granite Falls committed three errors in the game and Blaine came through with clutch hits to take advantage. The Borderites got out to an early 2-0 lead on a two run single in the first inning.
They extended their lead to three runs with RBIs from Olason and catcher Dustin Dhanani. Granite Falls rallied in the sixth innings for two runs but was shut out in the seventh to secure the win.