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Crusaders move on to OIBA second round

French throws a complete game vs. Westview


Jesuit High’s Colton French and Westview High’s Kenyon Yovan locked horns in a pitcher’s duel for six innings Tuesday evening at Tigard High School in the first round of the OIBA playoffs.

The Crusaders’ bats proved to be the difference as Jesuit scored two runs in the sixth inning and took the game, 3-1. With the win Jesuit moved into the winner’s bracket, while Westview moved into the loser’s bracket of the 16-team, double elimination tournament.

“Every time you win it gives you a little bit of momentum and the fact that you’re not in that loser’s bracket immediately is helpful,” Jesuit coach Tim Massey said.

For six innings, Yovan stifled the Crusader’s bats. He gave up just one run in the first inning.by: TIMES PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Jesuit Crusaders Tommy Kaempf slides into second base against Robinson Construction in the season ending game in the OIBA tournament.

Jesuit loaded the bases with no outs before Ken Carlson hit into a double play that brought in a run.

After that misstep, Yovan held Jesuit scoreless for the next four innings.by: TIMES PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Robinson Construction pitcher Kenyon Yovan pitches against Jesuit Crusaders in the season ending game in the OIBA tournament.

“He throws pretty well,” Massey said, of Yovan. “I’ll bet he was 87-88 (miles per hour). Later in the game he was throwing his curveball for strikes and then he was even tougher.”

Then, in the top of the strikes, Carlson stepped to the plate. With two strikes against him, Carlson smoked a ball to deep, deep centerfield, close to the Tigard football grandstands. Carlson was able to cruise into third for a standup triple.

Chris Arpan was then hit in the back of the helmet with a pitch. Arpan stayed down in the batter’s box for several long moments. He was able to walk off the diamond with assistance, but and ambulance was later called to take him to the hospital.by: TIMES PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Jesuit Crusaders pitcher Colton French pitches against Robinson Construction in the season ending game in the OIBA tournament.

After the delay, Jesuit tried a safety squeeze. The bunt went back to Yovan and Carlson stayed at third base. Pinch runner Donovan Baldocchi was able to move to second base, though.

Marco Albanese then doubled over the head of Westview’s centerfielder, bringing Carlson and Baldocchi around to score.

“I was looking first pitch fastball and I got it,” Albanese said. “I teed off on it.”

In six innings of work, Yovan allowed three runs, all earned, in six innings of work.by: TIMES PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Robinson Constructions Kyle Cox reacts towards Jesuit Crusaders catcher Thomas Vickers after scoring a run in the season ending game in the OIBA tournament.

Westview scored its lone run in the second inning.

With Kyle Cox standing on second base with two outs, Andy Shubert hit a ball back up the box to bring the run across.

That was all that Westview would get, though, as French shut down the Wildcats bats inning after inning. French went the distance, with only the single earned run marring his performance.

“I felt good,” French said. “My fastball had some pop on it. My slider, early on wasn’t quite as sharp as I wanted it. But, I brought it back and it felt good. I felt confident.”by: TIMES PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Robinson Construction batter Colton Sakamoto hits a single against Jesuit Crusaders in the season ending game in the OIBA tournament.

Massey said that French going all seven innings was critical for the Crusaders’ chances over the rest of the tournament.

“It was nice that French was able to go the distance,” Massey said. “That was huge for us with the fact that we didn’t have to get into our pen or use our other guys. I don’t know if many high school teams are set up for this 16 team double elimination tournament. Most teams don’t have a pitching staff that’s that deep.”



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