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Prep Watch

by: PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP: DAVID BALL - Katie Barrons pitching, and hitting, helped Central Catholic stay close in some competitive recent softball games.Benson’s baseball team broke through in a big and unprecedented way last week. The Techmen became the first team to claim a Portland Interscholastic League 5A series against Wilson.

After losing the opener 6-1 at Sckavone Stadium, Tech won 6-5 at Wilson and 7-6 at Buckman Field. “Two very intense games,” third-year Benson coach Adam Cohen says.

Wilson, which is in a rare reloading year, had dominated Benson and the rest of the league in recent seasons. Going into 2014, the Trojans were 24-1 against the Techmen since 2006, with a 329-53 edge in runs. Wilson, which won state titles in 2006 and 2012, also was 38-1 in the PIL 5A since dropping in classification for the 2011 season. The lone loss came to Benson, 4-1, on April 6, 2012.

But no PIL 5A team had beaten the Trojans on their field until last Wednesday.

“It was a huge series for us,” Cohen says, “and we hope to build from here.”

Among the stars of the series for the Techmen: senior first baseman KJ Bosco (8 of 12, six runs, three stolen bases) and junior Isaiah Donis (4 of 9, four RBIs, three runs). On the mound, Donis picked up a two-inning, five-strikeout save in Game 2 and tossed six innings without a decision in the finale, with five K’s and three runs allowed.

In Game 2, Benson scored three runs in the top of the sixth to take a 6-4 lead. Donis struck out the side in the bottom half of that inning, but walked the first two batters in the seventh. After a sacrifice and another walk, Wilson got an RBI single, but Donis ended the game with two more K’s.

Game 3 was tied going into the seventh. Wilson scored two runs off Game 1 Benson starter Alan Meza to lead 6-4. But the Techmen rallied in their final at-bat. A double steal by Bosco and Donis gave Tech runners on second and third with two outs. DH Awmry Wallace tied the game with a double to center. Mario Pablo’s single moved pinch runner Harrison Brown to third, and junior Thomas Wallberg’s infield single brought home the deciding run.

Donis also hurled Benson’s lone win in three games against Cleveland, fanning eight and giving up one earned run in seven innings.

• Cleveland’s baseball team swept Roosevelt last week and climbed to 5-1 in the PIL 5A standings.

Favorite Madison went into the week at 3-0 and ranked No. 10 by the Oregon School Activities Association. Wilson was 1-2 in the PIL 5A, Roosevelt 3-3, Benson 3-3 and Franklin 0-6.

Cleveland got strong pitching all last week. Freshman Eli Morse, the team’s regular shortstop, struck out 13 batters in the Roosevelt series opener. Senior Alex Sparks then took a perfect game into the seventh inning at Roosevelt. And junior Jack Sampson went the distance Thursday at Sckavone Stadium.

Cleveland won those games 3-2, 9-2 and 5-1 for coach Robbie Trebelhorn, a CHS grad who is back for his second stint as varsity coach.

The Roughriders proved competitive, though. They led the first game 2-0 going into the bottom of the seventh at Powell Park, but the Warriors bunted, scratched and clawed their way to the victory, capped by junior second baseman Malik Austin’s RBI ground ball.

Softball

A big win for Lincoln’s softball team was just as big a day for one of the Cardinals’ top players.

The Cards’ 10-2 victory at Jesuit on April 1 also was the first time that senior Paige Claire Mesher had stepped on the field as more than a designated hitter since she was a defensive specialist as a freshman.

Mesher, who has battled a variety of injuries and afflictions, started at first base. Not only that, but she also went 4 for 4 with a grand slam in the seventh inning, a double, a walk, six RBIs and two runs. She also went errorless.

Mesher has had to overcome two surgeries on her right shoulder for painful softball injuries related to years of throwing (torn labrum and detached ligaments), along with an appendectomy and a recent, still not completely diagnosed condition that doctors have been concerned might be lymphoma.

“Softball this year has been a welcome respite from the anxiety of the cancer scare,” says her father, Page Mesher.

The all-state DH is off to another big year at the plate, though, batting .514 (19 of 37), with two HRs, four doubles and 16 RBIs.

• Wilson took control of the PIL 5A softball race in dramatic fashion last week. The Trojans, trailing 7-6 and down to their final strike, beat Cleveland 9-7 at Woodstock Park on freshman Rachel Hunt’s three-run homer to center field.

Wilson went on to defeat Benson 21-3 and Madison 11-0 last week, putting the Trojans at 4-0 in league. Roosevelt went into this week at 3-1, with Cleveland and Franklin 2-1.

Hunt is one of four first-year players in the starting lineup for coach Steve Walmer. The others are Sydney Brieher, Saioa Lostra and Sheena Mendoza. Another freshman, Gina Bruce, has just returned from an injury and could start, as well.

Four players — senior Sophie Miller, junior Emma Feldman and sophomores Katelyn Duilio and Makenna Clizer — returned from Wilson’s 2013 PIL 5A champs, who went 11-1 for a 3 1/2-game edge on runner-up Roosevelt (7-4), with Cleveland third (7-5).

“We have no huge superstars, but lots of little pieces that work well together,” Walmer says. “We have just been playing very solid games, and it’s like everyone has taken a turn doing their part to help us win.”

Duilio pitched a perfect game against Madison, with six strikeouts in five innings. Hunt and Lostra also have thrown well. “It’s kind of pitch by committee, with whoever is feeling the magic,” Walmer says.

Feldman is the catcher. Brieher, who also runs track, is at second base for a team “with pretty good speed,” Walmer says. Sophomore Natalie McKinnon has been the DH “and carried us in a couple of our early games in Bend.” Duilio, Clizer and Lostra can play multiple positions, and all have hit well and shown some power.

• Central Catholic’s softball team already has been playing games with playoff-like intensity and competition. The Rams lost three in a row of those, but coach Sara Stauffer notes that “we can definitely learn from them, and that will make us better at the end of the season, when it really counts.”

Still, Central had to absorb, for now, :”tough, tough losses” to Roseburg, 4-2 in 10 innings; Sandy, 3-2 (with the deciding run coming in the seventh), and Barlow, 7-4 in nine innings.

“The good thing is we were in all three games — and battled in all three,” Stauffer says. “We just need to learn how to finish in pressure situations.”

Key players last week included Katie Barron, who pitched a total of 25 2/3 innings, striking out 29 batters; Hailey Frilot, who had three hits versus Roseburg; and Barron, Ashley Doyle, Jessie Negage and Brittney Duronslet, who all had two-hit games at the plate.

by: TRIBUNE PHOTO: JONATHAN HOUSE - Grant junior Jovon Lewis (right) battles Oregon City senior Alex Canchola down the stretch of the 400 meters at a dual meet last week at Grant. Lewis won in 53.32, with Canchola clocked in 53.33.

Track and field

• Wilson senior Tristan Anastas is up to his old high jump tricks again — and more.

The 6-4, 190-pounder already has tied his school record with a leap of 6 feet, 8 inches.

On the same day he made that height at the April 5 Sandy Invitational, Anastas also won the long jump and the 110-meter hurdles and placed ninth in the javelin (not taking any throws in the finals) — making him the meet’s top scorer.

The 6-8 is the Class 5A-leading mark for 2014, and “he’s been incredibly close to clearing 6-10 several times,” coach Thor Esbensen says.

Anastas was an elite soccer player before being derailed in that sport by a severe concussion. He also has wrestled for Wilson, and he ran cross-country for the Trojans last fall.

He began his prep track career as a hurdler, then tried the high jump as a sophomore.

“He was a clear natural,” Esbensen says.

Last year, Anastas took up the long jump and posted a best of 22-4.

He also has thrown the javelin on occasion, reaching 144-6.

“Last year, we tried to get him in as many events as we could to see how his marks would fare in a decathlon,” Esbensen says.

Some injuries kept Anastas from attempting the 10-eventer, but the South Dakota School of Mines commit could have a go at it in the future.

“He’s a very solid, athletic kid,” Esbensen says. “He has excelled at every event he works on.”

Lacrosse

• The Wilson and Oregon Episcopal School girls are 4-0 going into their 7:30 game tonight at OES.

Wilson, which has outscored opponents 85-42, got five goals from Ellen Berkley in last weeks 14-2 victory against Grant, which is 2-2.

OES also plays a nonleague game Wednesday at West Linn, which is 6-0.

• In boys play, Wilson and OES are 4-0, Central Catholic is 5-1 and perennial power Lincoln is off to a 2-5 start.

Tennis

n Jesuit’s girls won the Bend Invitational last weekend for the 14th time in the past 15 years. The Crusaders beat Beaverton 5-3 in the Gold bracket championship match.

Central Catholic edged St. Mary’s Academy 5-3 in the third-place match.

In the Bronze bracket, OES took first, downing Bend 5-3.