Winning the Southern Cascade League title seemed like a pretty bold goal this spring considering the recent history of the Cascade Christian...
CENTRAL POINT — The Crater baseball team had its chances against a potent South Salem squad in their Class 6A second-round state playoff game on Wednesday.
But two big innings by the Saxons were enough to derail the Comets in a 7-5 South Salem triumph at Anhorn Field.
"It was just one of those games where we didn't get the ball to bounce our way," said Crater coach Jay Campbell. "There were a lot of hard-hit, seeing-eye singles (hit by us).
"We had multiple chances but we just couldn't get that one big hit."
Just after the Comets (18-10) climbed back from a 3-0 deficit to tie the game, the Saxons bit Crater with four runs in the top of the fifth inning.
Crater, however, began to chip away with a run-scoring single by Sebastian Reynolds in the bottom of the sixth inning and a Cole Berriochoa sacrifice fly in the seventh to cut South Salem's lead to 7-5.
With two outs in the bottom of the seventh and runners on first and second base, Reynolds rapped a hard groundball to South Salem's first baseman, who fielded it and recorded the out to end the game.
The Saxons (21-7), who were helped by the Comets stranding nine baserunners, will face Thurston in the quarterfinals on Friday.
After the Saxons put the pressure on with three runs in the second inning, Crater answered in the bottom of the frame with two runs.
Evan Erskine brought home Tyler Aplin, who started the second inning off with a single, with a sacrifice fly and Blake Fahndrich later hit a single up the middle to score Reynolds.
In the bottom of the fourth, Berriochoa deadlocked the score at 3-all with a leadoff home run to left field, his first blast of the season.
Aplin went 3-for-3 for the Comets, while reliever Ty Fox kept Crater in the game by keeping the Saxons hitless over the final 22/3 inning. Fox walked one batter and fanned three.
"It was a special group (of players)," said Campbell. "There's no question about it, it was one of the most special groups of players that I've seen come together as a team. That's what made this season so special."
South Salem 003 040 0 — 7 12 0
Crater 002 101 1 — 5 8 0
Tweedt, McLaughlin (6) and Whitfield; Preston, Bastendorff (4), Fox (5) and Aplin. W — Tweedt. L — Bastendorff. 2B — SS: Tweedt. C: Martin. HR — C: Berriochoa.
JESUIT 12, GRANTS PASS 3 — At Portland, Grants Pass' surprising run in the state playoffs came to an end in the Round of 16.
Jesuit used a nine-run third inning to propel itself into the quarterfinals for the second consecutive season.
The Crusaders (23-5) combined for six hits, three walks and an error in the third inning against three Grants Pass pitchers. Nick Choruby had a two-run double and Keenan Hatfield added two RBI singles to spark the rally that saw 14 batters go to the plate.
For Grants Pass (12-16), Tyler Bennett, Chris Ingledue and Justin Spinner accounted for four singles.
NORTH VALLEY 15, SWEET HOME 3 — At Grants Pass, North Valley broke it open with seven runs in the second inning and the Knights secured a trip to the Class 4A state quarterfinals with a second-round victory.
The Knights (20-5), who will visit Sisters on Friday, rapped 18 hits in the contest.
North Valley pitcher Marco Garmendia went 61/3 innings, giving up three earned runs on four hits, no walks and one hit batter and tossing a pair of strikeouts. He also went 3-for-3 at the plate.
Dylan DuPont went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and four RBIs — three coming off a three-run home run in the third inning for North Valley.
Austin Beard went 3-for-4 with three runs scored, three stolen bases and an RBI. Nick Todaro, Jacob Herklotz and John Parker all had two hits and drove in two runs.
Sweet Home 200 000 1 — 3 4 1
North Valley 171 123 x — 15 18 5
Rice, Hanks (3), White (5) and Melcher; Garmendia, Herklotz (7) and Schmoll. W — Garmendia (5-1). L — Rice. 2B — SH: White, Bidwell; NV: Herklotz 2, J. Parker, DuPont. HR — NV: DuPont.
HIDDEN VALLEY 8, LA SALLE 5, 8 inn. — At Wilsonville, Gregory Hurd pitched a complete game and homered and B.J. Hults hit the go-ahead home run as Hidden Valley advanced to the state quarterfinals with the extra-inning victory.
The Mustangs (15-6) will host Molalla on Friday.
B.J. Hults opened the eighth inning with a homer over the center-field fence to break a 5-all tie. Mike Hults and Joe Wardle also had RBI base hits in the frame as the Mustangs scored three runs.
Hurd allowed four earned runs, struck out nine and didn't walk a batter to improve to 10-0 on the season. He also belted a two-run homer in the first and contributed another single and RBI.
Wardle had three hits and two RBIs and BJ Hults provided two hits.
Hidden Valley 201 010 13 — 8 11 2
La Salle 200 030 00 — 5 9 1
Hurd and Ko. Garrison; Hays, Norton (5), Davis (8) and Studdard. W — Hurd (10-0). L — Norton. 2B — HV: Wardle, Ky. Garrison, Munoz; LS: Young 2, Regan, Hayes. HR — HV: Hurd, Hults; LS: Studdard.
PLEASANT HILL 9, ILLINOIS VALLEY 1 — At Pleasant Hill, Garrett Davis drove in four runs and Jackson Bertsch pitched a five-hitter with nine strikeouts to lead Pleasant Hill (22-4) to its 14th straight win and into a quarterfinal home game against Cascade Christian.
Davis recorded two hits, including a two-run double, and Will Parmenter added three hits and an RBI for the Billies.
Illinois Valley finished the year 15-8.