Logan Gerling hasn’t had a live at-bat in about two years.
So when the Gig Harbor High senior pitcher’s number got called Saturday afternoon in the bottom of the sixth inning in the second annual Elton Goodwin Memorial Foundation Tribute to our Troops baseball game at Tacoma’s Cheney Stadium, he was excited for a chance to deliver.
With the game still scoreless, Gerling blasted a single into center field to score teammate Tanner Hardy for the game’s only run, as the Tides won a pitcher’s duel, 1-0 on an overcast afternoon.
“They hung me a curveball and I did what I could with it. Maybe it’s a comeback,” Gerling said, with a laugh.
It wasn’t the only heroic moment for Gerling, who was named the game’s most valuable player. He entered in the top of the sixth inning in relief, inheriting runners on the corners with no outs. He proceeded to record a pop-up, a groundout and another pop-up to strand both runners keep the Wolves off the board, despite the golden opportunity.
I was ready all game, from the first to the seventh. I was ready all game, from the first to the seventh.
Logan Gerling, Gig Harbor pitcher
“I was ready all game, from the first to the seventh,” Gerling said. “I was hoping for that last inning. Reliving is my favorite. You get that adrenaline rush, I can’t feel my hands, my body. It feels good.”
But Gerling wasn’t done. He came out for the seventh inning and closed out the game, sealing his impressive performance and securing the win for Gig Harbor (11-3 overall, 7-2 South Sound Conference 3A).
South Kitsap (7-8 overall, 6-7 South Puget Sound League 4A) had several opportunities, but failed to get any runs across. Catcher Alex Garcia opened the game with a leadoff triple in the first inning, but was stranded, the first of many Wolves to be stopped short of reaching home.
Gig Harbor senior pitcher Patrick Fredrickson did his part for Gig Harbor, going five innings, giving up four hits and no earned runs.
In the first inning, I struggled a bit with my command. I figured it out and after that, I got a lot of ground ball outs.
Patrick Fredrickson, Gig Harbor pitcher
“For the most part, I felt pretty good,” Fredrickson said. “In the first inning, I struggled a bit with my command. I figured it out and after that, I got a lot of ground ball outs.”
The event, in its second year, is focused on honoring the military through baseball. Each player and coach wears a special, camo-print uniform with the name of a local troop on the back of the jersey. This year, players and coaches were invited to choose a troop they wanted to represent, adding to the personal significance of the event.
Gig Harbor coach Pete Jansen honored his best friend, Pfc. Stephen McCauley, who died in Cambodia when he was 19 years old, serving in the United States Army.
“It’s just really special,” Jansen said.