A late rally earns the Challengers the state American Legion title
Aug. 5, 2012 / By Cliff Pfenning, oregonsports.com
PORTLAND - For only the third time in American Legion baseball history, a Eugene team has won the state title in Oregon and will represent the state at the regional tournament beginning Wednesday.
The Eugene Challengers completed a stirring run to the title by winning its fifth consecutive elimination game, 13-6, over Medford in the tournament final at Concordia University.
Gaje McDaniel drove in three runs and scored three times to power the Eugene offense, which scored 12 runs in the final two innings.
Joe Schindler held Medford to four runs over eight innings and the Challengers won the state title for the first time since 1999. Eugene lost its first game in the double-elimination tournament, but then won five straight, including a 5-4 win over the Salem Dodgers Sunday prior to the Medford win.
"This was our goal all season," Eugene coach Todd Zeigler said. "We wanted to represent Oregon at the regional tournament."
Eugene begins play in the eight-team regional Wednesday in Billings, Mont. The tournament includes state champions from Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Wyoming, Alaska, Hawaii, Montana and a host team from the Billings region. Hawaii is the defending champion.
Eden Prairie, Minn., is the defending World Series champion, having beaten Tupelo, Miss., 5-4 in a 13-inning title game after winning a game earlier in the day.
The World Series is scheduled for Shelby, N.C., where is has a permanent home. A team from Oregon has won the title just once - 1969, although five other teams have played in the Series final.
Medford, which lost to Eugene 7-4 Saturday, lost in the state final for the third straight year after reaching the World Series title game in 2009.
The Mustangs, who won their opening three games of the tournament, led 4-1 entering the eighth and were still ahead 4-2 with two out when Travis Boggs reached by being hit on a 3-2 pitch and Kevin Eyster and McDaniel hit run-scoring singles to tie the score. The Challengers went ahead 6-4 on a misplayed fly to right field, then sent 13 batters to the plate in the ninth.
In the ninth, Eugene sent 13 batters to the plate and scored seven runs, with the bases loaded as the inning ended.
Trojans score four runs in bottom of seventh for 7-6 win
June 2, 2012 / By Cliff Pfenning, oregonsports.com
KEIZER - A four-run rally in their final at-bat pushed the Wilson Trojans to a 7-6 win over Summit in the Class 5A baseball championship game Saturday at Volcanoes Stadium.
Trialing 6-3 and heading for the bottom half of their order, the Trojans, who had left the bases loaded in the sixth, tied the score on a double by John Venables, the team's No. 7 hitter, and won when Kevin Shimomaeda, pinch-running for Venables, scored on a throwing error setting off a frantic celebration.
Wilson, which got three hits out of catcher Jonah Harris, the team's No. 8 hitter, finished 23-8.
"We were pretty down after the sixth, but we just found a way to come through," designated hitter Chris Beard, the team's lead-off hitter, said. "This is the best way to win a title, with a play like that."
Summit, working to win the school's 11th team title during the 1011-12 school year, finished 25-6.
The Trojans overcame five errors in the game, although none of them led to a run.
Summit pitchers were charged with just three earned runs.
BASEBALL: Indians score five runs in the seventh for 8-6 win
May 2, 2012
Roseburg secured its place atop the Class 6A baseball ranks Tuesday with a big comeback at No. 3 Crater, scoring five runs in the seventh inning for an 8-6 win in Southern Oregon Conference play.
The Indians, helped by three Crater errors, batted around in the seventh and won their fourth-straight SOC title.
Roseburg improved to 18-2 overall and 9-1 in SOC play. The Indians won Tuesday's game despite being credited with just six hits.
Crater dropped to 15-5, 7-4, despite getting home runs from Corey Wynant and Blake Fahndrich. The loss dropped the Comets to fifth in the OSAA rankings, one spot behind North Medford, their next opponent. The teams play Tuesday.
INDIANS, COMETS HEAD FOR SOC DUEL
Roseburg, which reached the semifinals of the Class 6A baseball playoffs last year, is the top-ranked team in Class 6A with two weeks left in the regular season.
The Indians are atop the Southern Oregon Conference standings, ahead of Crater, which is ranked third, and North Medford, which is ranked fifth. Grants Pass is 11th and South Medford 14th in the 6A rankings, which include 43 teams.
Roseburg and Crater play Tuesday at Crater.
Thurston is ranked No. 2.
At Class 5A, defending champion Sherwood is atop the state rankings with Pendleton and Summit close behind.
Philomath and Scappoose are atop the Class 4A rankings with defending champion Astoria 6th.
At 3A, Santiam Christian is No. 1, and Vale, a semifinalist last season, is No. 2.
Knappa, Kennedy and Regis are 1-2-3 in Class 2A.
The state playoffs begin May 21 with Class 6A games and conclude June 1 and 2 at Volcanoes Stadium in Keizer.
KEIZER – Sam Johnson hit two homers, including a three-run shot in the seventh inning, to power Westview to its first title, 9-6, over Central Catholic in the Class 6A final.
Johnson’s bat made up for a shaky start on the mound in which he gave up five earned runs in just three innings, which ended with the Rams leading 5-1. Reliever Phil Belding gave up just one run for the remainder of the game.
Sherwood, Astoria, Horizon Christian and Stanfield/Echo also won titles in the final OSAA/U.S. Bank/Les Schwab Tires state championship events for 2010-11.
The District 4 Tigard All-Stars played their way into the Little League Softball World Series semifinals Monday with a tense, 1-0, win over Robbinsville, N.J., at Alpenrose Dairy.
Next up for Tigard, which finished second in Pool B of the 10-team tournament, is the all-stars from Burbank, Calif., who finished first in Pool A.
Tigard faces Burbank, which is in the tournament for the first time, at 4 p.m. on ESPN2. The other semifinal pits defending champion Warner Robins, Ga., which beat Tigard 5-0 in the opening round, against Poland, Ohio, which finished second in Pool A.
Game time for the second semifinal is 6:30 p.m.
The semifinal winners meet Wednesday at 4 p.m. for the series title.
ROSEBURG’S LEGION RUN ENDS
Dr. Stewart’s lost to Eden Prairie, Minn., for a second time at the American Legion World Series Monday and had its baseball season end in Spokane, Wash.
Despite producing 12 hits and committing just one error, the Docs pushed across just two runs and lost 6-2. Roseburg finished 35-15 on the season, one game short of the championship round.
Medford reached the championship round last year and finished second.
Justin Sellers went 2-for-4 with a two-run home run and scored the go-ahead run on a seventh-inning sacrifice fly as the Albuquerque Isotopes earned a split of a four-game series with a 5-4 win over the Portland Beavers Monday afternoon at PGE Park.
Sellers homered for the second straight game and fourth time in his last six, taking Josh Geer (9-10) deep in the second. Russ Mitchell and Ivan De Jesus, Jr., drove in runs with sacrifice flies for the Isotopes (60-61).
Craig Stansberry belted his sixth home run in the first inning and Nick Green had two hits and two RBIs for the Beavers (48-75), who were held to five hits.
Portland begins a four-game series with Round Rock, Texas, (50-73) today at 7:05 p.m.
EMERALDS WIN, VOLCANOES GET HAMMERED
Oscar Garcia, a centerfielder from Northwestern University, hit his first professional home run to lead the Eugene Emeralds to a 4-1 victory over Yakima Monday in Eugene. Adys Portillo pitched five scoreless innings for his second win of the season.
In Keizer, Spokane pounded out three home runs and 15 hits overall in a 12-3 win over the Volcanoes.
Salem-Keizer right fielder Ryan Scoma homered and drove in a pair of runs to improve his team-leading total to 31 RBIs in 51 games.
Six-run fifth inning helps Dr. Stewart's stay alive
Vince Ampi hit a three-run homer and drove in four runs to help Dr. Stewart’s of Roseburg beat Moline, Ill., 9-7 at the American Legion World Series in Spokane, Wash., Sunday.
Ampi’s homer highlighted a 6-run fifth inning that overcame a 5-1 deficit. After Moline rallied to tie the score at 7-all in the top of the sixth, Dr. Stewart’s scored twice in the bottom of the inning off a throwing error and an RBI fly out by Ampi.
Roseburg won despite five errors, which pushed its tournament total to 17 in three games.