Baseball: Huskies pull away from Mustangs for first round victory
Nat Barrell and Kyle Williamson lead North Marion's offensive charge
The North Marion baseball team may have been outhit by the Hidden Valley Mustangs, but the Huskies took advantage of every extra base offered by the visiting team and used a big fifth inning to pull away for an 11-5 win in the first round of the 4A OSAA Baseball State Championship Wednesday night.
Leading by a 3-2 margin in the bottom of the fifth inning, North Marion built an insurmountable lead after catcher Nat Barrell hit a bases loaded single to spark a seven-run inning. Kyle Williamson, who was recently named the Tri-Valley Conference Player of the Year for the second straight season, went on to clear the bases with a triple that brought home two more runs. Williamson then stole home base on a wild to add to the Huskies lead.
Barrell and Williamson combined for seven RBIs thanks in part to Hidden Valley starter James Chastain, who put seven North Marion players on base via walk or hit batters. When Chastain was pulled in the fifth inning after loading the bases, the Huskies jumped on reliever Jarid Norberg. Shane McKillip and Emry Patterson added RBI singles in the inning to add to North Marions lead.
Brock Breshears pitched a complete game for the Huskies, scattering five runs and 10 hits across seven innings. Although the high-powered Mustang bats, which entered the game as a top-five offensive team, responded with three innings in the top of the sixth, Breshears was able to shut them down for the final four outs to give the Huskies their first playoff win since 2010.
North Marion (21-7) moves on to the quarterfinals, where they will face either fifth-seed Scappoose (20-5) or 12th-seed La Grande (16-11) on Friday at Bob Brack Stadium.