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Pioneers play the best, take their lumps


Oregon City hardballers meet their match in Nevada

Playing arguably the toughest schedule of any Oregon high school baseball team, the Oregon City Pioneers went 1-3 in games played in Nevada and California over spring break.

The losses were to Nevada teams Sierra Vista (13-0), Green Valley (7-3) and Bishop Gorman (17-3). The win was over Arroyo Valley, California (13-3).

“I’ve taken trips like this over spring break the last 15 seasons, and those three Nevada teams were three of the best I’ve ever seen,” said Oregon City assistant coach Mike Lord. “All three would be contenders for the state title in Oregon. We wanted our kids to see what high school baseball is like at the highest level. Hopefully this will make them aspire to work harder and get better. I think they’ll respond well.”

Lord said that Bishop Gorman, the team they played on the last day of their trip, has seven players who have signed to play baseball for NCAA Division I schools.

Errors proved costly in the losses to Sierra Vista and Green Valley. The Pioneers committed nine errors in the two games.

Bishop Gorman hitters reached five Oregon City pitchers for 16 hits, and the Pioneers committed three errors in that game.

The Pioneers unleashed their bats for 15 hits against the lesser opponent from California, and they only committed one error in that game. Clay Valenzuela-Reece and Terrel Hood both went 4-for-5 at the plate, Reece driving in five runs with two doubles and two singles, and Hood driving in three runs with a double and three base hits.

Caden Hennessy was sharp on the mound, striking out seven and walking no one while yielding just one hit in six innings of work.

Jalen Satter (.421, 6 runs scored, 3 RBI), Hood (.353, 6 runs, 3 RBI), Valenzuela-Reece (.300, 6 runs, 6 RBI) and Tyler Sheldon (7 runs scored) were Oregon City’s top hitters through play last week.

Hennessy was the top performing pitcher, with 10 strikeouts and three walks in 9-1/3 innings.

Oregon City (2-4) has a home game with Liberty scheduled for this afternoon and the Pioneers entertain McNary on Thursday. They play at Wilson on Friday and at Central Catholic on Monday.