James Gunther couldn’t find a tangible reason for his home run streak — he’s hit a solo shot in each of Olympia High School’s last three games.
“I’m just on a little roll,” he said.
So, Gunther’s teammate, Jamie Bautista, gave him a reason.
“It’s my bat,” Bautista said.
That could very well be the reason. The two accounted for all six of Olympia’s runs on Friday afternoon as the Bears blanked Capital, 6-0, at Crandall Field.
Olympia put up two runs in the second, fourth and sixth innings. Gunther was the first to cross each time, followed by Bautista not long after.
Gunther — who finished the game 1 for 1 with his home run and three runs scored — was hit by pitches his first two at-bats.
“I knew I was on him, they just kept getting me,” he said. “I was just keeping my same approach.”
Bautista knocked Gunther in the first time in the bottom of the second. He hit an opposite-field double to right field, and Gunther slid into home to beat the relay. Bautista eventually scored on an error.
“I was just trying to see some fastballs early,” Bautista said. “He gave me a couple early in the count, and I tried to go after it with a good approach. That’s what we work on in practice with coach and it just turned out well today.”
He hit another double — this time to the left field wall — in the fourth. He was 2 for 2 with the two doubles and three runs scored. Bautista and Gunther both eventually scored on singles by Tristan Haider and Gunther’s brother, Scott.
Gunther rocketed his solo homer over the left field wall in the bottom of the sixth. Bautista then walked, and eventually came around to score on an error. Capital committed three errors in the contest.
“We’ve got to get better at playing like we did Wednesday — not letting one play affect the next,” Capital coach Jesse Elam said. “I think we did that for the most part today, but there were a couple of times when one play affected another one, and that can’t happen if we’re going to move on.”
Capital shut out Central Kitsap on Wednesday — the two are tied atop the Class 3A Narrows League. Olympia is two games behind Gig Harbor in the 4A Narrows after two losses to Timberline earlier this week.
“We just like to compete against (Capital), they’re a good team,” Bautista said. “Just came out here and played within ourselves today. Good win.”
Added Gunther: “Us coming off two hard losses and them just beating CK — it was a good matchup.”
Olympia’s four pitchers combined to allow only three hits, with Fred Carpenter picking up the win. Aidan Short recorded the loss. Capital never sent more than four batters to the plate in an inning.
Olympia (11-4) hosts Gig Harbor at 4 p.m. Monday. Capital (9-6) will host North Thurston.
The nonleague contest between Capital and Olympia was also the annual Bruce Crandall Day game. Olympia wore camouflage jerseys to honor the field’s namesake, Lt. Col. Crandall, a Vietnam veteran and 1951 Olympia graduate.
Former Olympia coach and teacher, Todd McDougall, was also honored. He passed away in 2013 after a seven-month battle with brain cancer.