PORTLAND Camden Tammen had a different view than anticipated on Monday evening.
The Station Camp High senior outfielder was pressed into duty behind the plate, but it didn’t deter the Bison in a 12-2 victory over Portland in the two teams’ district opener.
“It’s really good,” Tammen said. “We need it for team morale.”
Tammen – who has been used sparingly at catcher last season and this season – played the entire contest there on Monday, due to an ankle injury suffered by junior starting catcher Dylan Pottorff earlier in the day.
“It went pretty well,” Tammen said. “It definitely could improve a little. It will come in time.
“It’s not my primary position. I have more practice in the outfield, but I don’t mind catching. It’s a nice change of pace.”
Panther senior Nick Lingo had a first-inning sacrifice fly to drive in classmate Kemper Dixon, and senior Austin Graves scored when classmate Hunter Read reached on an infield single.
However, Portland (4-3) produced just two more hits, fifth-inning singles by Graves and Lingo.
“We’ve played well to this point, even in the two (prior) losses,” Panther head coach Jimmy Parker said. “You’re going to have (mistakes). It’s inevitable. You just don’t want to make them in district games.
“They’re a good team. Give them credit. They put us away like they should have.”
Bison senior starting pitcher Lucas Gross (1-1) tossed four innings of two-hit baseball, walking three hitters while striking out seven.
Classmate Blake Gay picked up his second save, striking out seven hitters over three innings of scoreless relief.
Station Camp junior Tyler Thompson and senior A.J. Weed singled in runs during the three-run third inning.
Two of Portland’s five errors contributed to the Bison’s four-run fourth. Thompson had another run-scoring single in that frame, and junior Thomas Zazzaro – who played with the school’s state semifinal boys basketball team until last Friday – singled to drive in two runs.
“We have a lot of young kids playing, and we have kids out of position,” Parker said. “Our starting second baseman (senior Brice Snook) is out (with an injury). That’s a problem every time that Graves is on the mound.
“We’re young, and we’re indecisive. We started two sophomores and a freshman and five guys in new positions.”
Senior Zach Shonting drove in a fifth-inning run with a sacrifice fly, and Tammen’s infield single resulted in another run, extending the lead to 9-2.
Then, in the seventh inning, Tammen capped the scoring with a three-run home run over the fence in leftfield, his first home run since his sophomore year.
“I was just looking for solid contact,” Tammen said. “I got the right pitch. I did what I practiced to do.”
Reach Craig Harris at email@example.com or at 615-575-7138. Follow him on Twitter @HarrisGNESports.
Station Camp 003 420 3 – 12 9 1
Portland 200 000 0 – 2 4 5
Lucas Gross, Blake Gay (5) and Camden Tammen; Austin Graves, Nick Lingo (4), Houston Ellis (6) and Kemper Dixon. WP – Gross (1-1). LP – Graves (0-1). Save – Gay (2). Home runs: Station Camp – Camden Tammen (1). Records: Station Camp 4-2 overall, 1-0 in District 9-AAA; Portland 4-3, 0-1.