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Gladiators figure a top four finish in Junior State league

Krieger, Swenson excel in routs of Estacada, Wilson


by: JONATHAN HOUSE - Gladstone junior Austin Krieger threw a 2-hitter in last weeks 10-0 rout of Estacada.Gladstone High hardballers have had their share of success in Junior State Division I baseball this summer.

The Gladiators sported a league record of 13-6 (16-13 overall) through play Sunday.

They were to begin the state playoffs with a best-of-three series on Friday, after finishing up league regular-season play this evening, with an away game with Scappoose.

“Six teams from our league go on to the [state] playoffs,” said Gladstone coach Casey Webster. “I think we’ll finish top four, if not higher.”

Gladstone’s 11-team Junior State league includes teams from Milwaukie, Putnam, St. Helens, Hood River, Molalla, Scappoose, Estacada, Franklin, Wilson and Horizon Christian.

The Gladiators looked sharp in recent league games with Estacada, Wilson and Horizon Christian, blanking the Rangers 10-0, upending the Trojans 16-1, and handling the Hawks 9-7. They outhit their opponents 40-13 in those three home games. The games with Estacada and Wilson were shortened to five innings because of a 10-run rule.

Junior-to-be Austin Krieger threw a two-hitter in the shutout of Estacada, striking out seven and walking one.

“Austin’s been pretty solid for us all summer long,” Webster said. “He was sharp in [the Estacada game]. He got ahead of batters, his curve ball was working pretty well, and we played error-free defense behind him.”

Krieger boasts a 1.3 ERA this summer, with 27 strikeouts and only nine walks allowed in 37-2/3 innings.

Krieger (3-for-3, 3 RBI), sophomore-to-be Trey DePretto (3-for-4) and junior-to-be Collin Betnar (2-for-3) headed the offense in the Estacada game, as the Gladiators hammered out 13 hits in four innings of offense.

Senior-to-be Cody Swenson was sharp on the mound in the Wilson game, striking out four, walking two and allowing only a fifth-inning single in a one-hitter. Wilson’s only run was unearned.

“It was one of the better games Cody’s thrown,” said Webster. “He kept the ball low and threw strikes. He was really in command of his pitches.”

The Gladiators stung the ball for 16 hits in the Wilson game, with 10 different Gladstone players connecting for hits. They took charge in the first inning, when they combined seven hits with four walks to score 10 runs.

Seniors-to-be Mitchell Foeller (2-for-2, 2 RBI), A.J. Swalko (2 RBI) and Chris Toh; and juniors-to-be Tyrus Coady (2-for-2, double, 2 RBI) and Ben Fox headed the offensive fireworks with two hits apiece. Junior-to-be Trask Telesmanich rapped a two-run double; Krieger and DePretto both had two RBI.

Eight different Gladiators made contact for hits in Sunday’s game with Horizon Christian, led by sophomore-to-be Andrew Gross (double), Telesmanich (double) and senior-to-be Jake Jubb, who had two hits apiece. Coady and Swalko both had extra-base hits.

The Gladiators were in charge all the way, after scoring six runs in the first inning.

In other recent games, the Gladiators struggled on defense in a 10-7 loss to Molalla and they struggled with their bats in a 10-4 loss to Putnam. The Gladiators committed six errors in the Molalla game and only three Molalla runs were earned.

Swalko had a double and Krieger drove in two runs in the Molalla game; Telesmanich crushed the ball for a two-run triple in the Putnam game.




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