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Pirates club Knights to notch playoff berth

PREP BASEBALL

MERLIN -- The Phoenix Pirates needed to win their final Skyline Conference game Tuesday afternoon to earn a return trip to the Class 3A baseball playoffs.

The defending state champions more than took care of business, erupting for seven runs in the first inning en route to a 14-1, five-inning triumph at North Valley.

The victory left Phoenix in a third-place tie with Lakeview at 15-6. But the Pirates nailed down the Skyline's No. — playoff berth by virtue of winning two-out-of-three games from Lakeview.

Phoenix (19-6) travels to Newport for a first-round playoff game next Tuesday.

We were in a must-win situation and it can be a tough place to win sometimes, Phoenix coach Joe Hagler said. The kids hit the ball real well.

The Pirates banged out 13 hits, including three home runs and three doubles. They've now belted 35 home runs this spring.

The Pirates parlayed five hits, two walks and a hit batter into all the runs they needed in the first inning. Dave Westfall and Chase Tester highlighted the outburst with two-run doubles.

Travis Dunlap was 3-for-3 with three runs scored, while Westfall was 3-for-4 with four RBIs.

Pierson stroked his school-record 12th career home run in the second inning, a solo shot to right field.

Phoenix ........................722 03 -- 14 13 — North Valley .....................001 00 -- — 3 1

Pierson, Foster (5) and Hult; Reese, Godfrey (2), Sullivan (4), Keeling (5) and Pedersen, Ordner (4). W -- Pierson. L -- Reese. 2B -- P: Dunlap, Westfall, Tester. HR -- P: Pierson (10), Westfall (5), Foster (1).

HENLEY 11, ILLINOIS VALLEY — -- At Cave Junction, Henley finished off the regular season with a convincing win over Illinois Valley to secure second place in the Skyline Conference. The Hornets host the third-place team out of the Far West League on Tuesday in the first round of the state playoffs.

Henley .......................040 115 0 -- 11 10 0 Illinois Valley ................000 100 0 -- — 2 4

Cunningham, Axel (3), Cunningham (4), Frost (5), Hamilton (6) and Bair; Larson, Haney (5), Dugas (6) and Paul. W -- Cunningham (7-2). L -- Larson. 2B -- H: Axel, Hamilton.

LAKEVIEW 10, HIDDEN VALLEY 6 -- At Grants Pass, Lakeview used 13 hits including two doubles from Corey Sedlacek to defeat Hidden Valley in the final game of the season for both teams.

Lakeview ..................013 103 2 -- 10 13 0 Hidden Valley ..............002 020 2 -- 6 7 1

Benson and Havely; T. Mason, Steward (3), Hyde (6) and Hoagland. W -- Benson. L -- T. Mason. 2B -- L: Sedlacek 2, Hadley; HV: Pietsch, N. Mason. HR -- HV: Pietsch, Wilson.

MAZAMA 6, ROGUE RIVER — -- At Rogue River, Jake Nelson allowed one run in pitching the Vikings to their 17th victory.

Mazama ......................130 001 — -- 6 5 0 Rogue River ................000 000 — -- — 6 3

Jk. Nelson and J. Nelson; Pergen and Maron. W -- Jk. Nelson. L -- Pergen. 2B -- RR: Garwood; M: Wallace. HR -- M: Vest.