SEASIDE — The wins never come easy on the North Coast for the Banks Braves … but win they do, as they did again Monday night in Cowapa League baseball action at Broadway Field in Seaside.
Ranked No. 2 in the state at the 4A level, Banks had to overcome an early 2-0 deficit against the Gulls, scoring twice in the third inning, then adding runs in the fifth and sixth for a 4-2 win.
The Braves improve to 8-0 atop the Cowapa standings, 17-3 overall. Seaside falls to 3-5, 8-10 overall.
Banks threatened in the top of the first, putting runners at second and third with one out, before Seaside starter Travis Fenton struck out the next two batters to get out of the inning.
And the Gulls gave Fenton an early lead, as Payton Westerholm's one-out single to center in the bottom of the first inning was the first of four straight hits for Seaside.
Duncan Thompson beat out an infield single, Alex Teubner had a line drive single to center to score Westerholm with the game's first run, and another infield hit by Chase Januik scored Thompson for a 2-0 lead.
Unfortunately for the Gulls, those would be their final runs of the night.
Banks starter Hayden Vandehey only gave up two hits after that (both by Fenton), and kept the Gulls scoreless through six innings, giving way to reliever Tyler Lilly in the seventh.
Lilly nearly let the save opportunity slip through his hands, as Seaside put runners at second and third with one out in the bottom of the seventh.
But Lilly retired two straight to end the game to keep the Braves unbeaten in league play.
Offensively for the Braves, Cameron Louie and Vandehey had back-to-back doubles in the third inning, while Jarred Evans and Dakota Bunn had consecutive singles in the fifth inning that resulted in the go-ahead run.
Blake Gobel added a leadoff double in the sixth, and courtesy runner Tanner Snook scored on a two-out single to center by Bryson Cook.
The Gulls play Wednesday at Astoria (Tapiola Park, 5 p.m.).