OC hardballers rally
Advance to the Class 6A playoffs
Oregon Citys late-blooming baseball team notched a big win on May 20, winning a state playoff play-in game at Grant, 10-5.
It was the Pioneers fourth win in their last six games, after a string of ten straight losses.
The win was bitter-sweet, because with the victory the Pioneers advanced to a first-round Class 6A high school playoff game at second-ranked North Medford. Through play May 20 the Black Tornado sported a 21-4 record, with two of the losses to top-ranked Crater and a third loss coming in a 1-0 barnburner with Colorado powerhouse Mt. Vista.
But it was all good for the Pioneers in the play-in game with the Generals. The Pioneers outhit the Generals 11-7 and three of Grants runs came on a home run.
Trailing 5-3, the Pioneers put the Generals away in the final three innings, when they outscored them 7-0.
The Pioneers had eight different players get hits, eight players score runs and six players drive in runs.
Senior Jalen Satter (2-for-4, 3 RBI, 2 runs) doubled to lead off the top of the fifth and junior Austin Johnson (2-for-3, 2 RBI) followed with a run-scoring triple, trimming the Generals lead to 5-4.
The Pioneers took command in the sixth frame, scoring three runs on a walk, a hit batter, a base hit and a General error. Satter plated two runs in the inning with a fly that was mishandled by Grants centerfielder, and he stole home for the third tally.
Satter, senior Clay Valenzuela-Reece and sophomores Trevor Martin and Matt Weseman singled in a three-run seventh inning. Satter and Valenzuela-Reece (2-for-4, 2 runs) both drove in runs with their timely base hits.
Sophomore Tyler Sheldon crushed a solo home run in the fourth frame; Johnson and Martin drove in runs in the first.
Valenzuela-Reece, Caden Hennessy and Johnson pitched for Oregon City, together allowing just one earned run and seven hits, while combining for seven strikeouts and just two walks.
Grant finished up with a 12-13 record with the loss; Oregon City improved to 9-18 with the win.