When you’re on a winning team, it’s easy to maintain your competitive spirit.
Practices become more tolerable, gearing up for...
WILSONVILLE — Tyler Bennett came up huge for Grants Pass in a Class 6A state baseball first-round playoff game Tuesday at Wilsonville High.
Bennett, a senior right-handed pitcher, tossed a four-hit complete game and hit a go ahead home run as Grants Pass defeated West Salem 5-1 to advance into the Round of 16.
The Cavemen (11-15), which finished last in the five-team Southern Oregon Hybrid, will play at Metro League champion Jesuit (22-5) today.
Bennett struck out four and walked two in his 100-pitch performance against the Titans (15-11).
"(Bennett) got a lot stronger as the game went on," Grants Pass coach Brian Diatte said. "He used his fastball to get ahead and his slider to put people away."
Bennett did all the hitting the Cavemen would need by belting a three-run homer over the left-field fence in the first. He also collected another hit and scored twice.
Chace VanEss had two hits and one run for the Cavemen.
"Tyler was pretty dominant," said Diatte. "We were forced to make only 11 plays. We made the plays in key situations."
Grants Pass 300 011 0 — 5 8 0
West Salem 000 001 0 — 1 4 1
Bennett and Leenknecht; Newman, Allison (6) and Rice. W — Bennett (5-5). L — Newman. 2B — GP: Martin. 3B — WS: Groat. HR — GP: Bennett
ALOHA 3, GRANTS PASS 0 — At West Linn, Aloha junior left-hander Kiana Wood tossed a two-hit shutout with 12 strikeouts as Grants Pass was eliminated in an opening-round playoff game at Rosemont Middle School.
Aloha broke a scoreless tie with two unearned runs in the fifth. The Cavers (13-13) committed both their errors in the inning and Courtney Coombs' single to center scored two runs. Michelle Silva added a solo home run one inning later.
For Grants Pass (13-13), Nicole Godwin singled with one out in the second and Amy Robinson had a one-out base hit in the the seventh.
Aloha (17-9), the Metro League runner-up, hosts McMinnville in a second-round game today.
Grants Pass 000 000 0 — 0 2 2
Aloha 000 021 x — 3 4 2
Robinson and Stevens; Wood and Buchanan. W — Wood. L — Robinson (13-9). HR — A: Silva.