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Gaviglio blanks St. Helens

ASHLAND — Sam Gaviglio insists he didn't have his best stuff. Then again, you have to consider the source.

Gaviglio increased his scoreless innings streak to 34 with a complete-game shutout as Ashland eased past the St. Helens Lions 4-0 in the second round of the Class 5A state baseball playoffs Tuesday at North Mountain Park.

The Grizzlies' senior pitcher allowed just two hits and struck out nine with one walk to help fourth-ranked Ashland (25-2) advance to the state quarterfinals, where it'll face ninth-ranked North Eugene (15-12) on Friday in Eugene.

Max Gordon scored from third when Owen Baldrica beat out a St. Helens' double play attempt in the third inning. That was enough for Gaviglio, who allowed just two St. Helens base-runners to advance beyond first base to remain unbeaten on the season (10-0). None reached third.

"He's a great pitcher," Ashland head coach Don Senestraro said. "Sometimes we get a bad rap that maybe our league isn't tough, but he looked the same to me (as) he did against Mazama, Klamath Union, Crater and Eagle Point.

"He is just a monster on the mound."

Gaviglio was less impressed.

"I didn't feel my best, but a win's a win," he said, his arm packed in ice after wrapping up his fifth shutout and eighth complete-game of the season.

The Grizzlies added two insurance runs in the fifth and another in the sixth. In the fifth, Lewis Sebrell scored on Luke Jannusch's RBI single and Jannusch came home on Garrett Tygerson's double.

In the sixth, Ian Kendall led off with a double and scored on Nick Hall's single.

Besides that, St. Helens starter Matt Lokken was solid. Relying mostly on a loopy curve, the big senior struck out four and walked two in 51/3 innings. He did allow nine hits, however, including a triple by Gaviglio.

"The teams that are (in the playoffs) have good pitching, and that's why they're here," Senestraro said.

Sebrell went 2-for-2 to lead a balanced offensive attack. All but one player in Ashland's lineup came through with a hit against seventh-ranked St. Helens (20-10), which suffered its first shutout of the season.

The Lions' best chance to score — and take a lead — came in the third inning, when Alex Anderson walked and stole second on Tyson Leland's strikeout. That brought up St. Helens leadoff hitter Jared Chase with two outs. Gaviglio threw three straight balls to fall behind in the count 3-1, but Chase watched strike two and waved at strike three to end the Lions' most serious threat.

St. Helens 000 000 0 — 0 3 1

Ashland 001 021 x — 4 9 1

Lokken, Mood (6) and Anderson; Gaviglio and Sebrell. W — Gaviglio (10-0). L — Lokken. 2B — A: Tygerson, Kendall. 3B — Gaviglio.