North Marion advanced to final four for the first time since 2005
An impressive run to the final four of the 4A OSAA Baseball State Championship came to a close Tuesday night for the North Marion Huskies.
After using a high-powered offense to cruise through the first two rounds of the playoffs, the Huskies (22-8) ran into the top-seeded Sisters Outlaws (25-4), who kept North Marion scoreless through the first four innings en route to a 7-2 victory in the semifinals.
The victory sets up a 4A championship between Sisters, the top seed in the 16-team bracket, against No. 2 Henley a rematch of a semifinal matchup last season that Henley won 2-1 on its way to the state title.
Meanwhile, the Huskies head home short of their goal to reach the championship game, but successful in their own right after advancing to the semifinals for the first time since 2005 and the 10th time in school history.
North Marion got as far as it did by winning a second straight Tri-Valley Conference championship and earning the fourth seed in the playoffs to guarantee home field advantage through the first two rounds. The Huskies picked up an 11-5 win against Hidden Valley and a 12-3 victory over La Grande, but the tables turned on North Marion after leaving the friendly confines of Bob Brack Stadium.
Sisters quickly jumped in front to open the game by scoring in each of the first four innings. The Outlaws Joey Morgan, the 2013 4A Player of the Year, and Cody Kreminski each had run-scoring singles for Sisters in the third inning, and Jonathan Luz scored in the fourth on a North Marion error to give Sisters a 5-0 lead.
The Huskies tallied a pair of unearned runs by Colin Barrow and Shane McKillip with two outs in the top of the fifth to narrow the gap. But Morgans two-run single in the home half of the sixth all but sealed the victory. Morgan closed out the game with his eighth strikeout against Tristan Wampole, who was recently named to the 4A All-State team along with teammates Kyle Williamson and Brock Breshears.
Kyle Williamson was 2-for-4, finishing his impressive senior year with a .506 batting average. Williamson led the team in nearly every major offensive category, including hits (45), doubles (13), triples (6), walks (20), on-base-percentage (0.588) and stolen bases (23), which helped him earn Tri-Valley Player of the Year honors for a second straight season while being named to the All-State First Team.
Brock Breshears, Barrow, McKillip and Nat Barrell each recorded a hit in the loss.
Wampole went 0-for-4, but finished his North Marion career with a second straight nomination to the All-State team after picking up Second Team Honors. Wampole was second on the team with a .342 batting average and co-led the team with Emry Patterson with 27 RBIs.
Breshears received Honorable Mention in the All-State voting after going 8-4 on the pitchers mound while sporting a 0.58 ERA in conference play. It was the second straight year on the All-State team for Breshears.
Williamson, Wampole and Breshears all made the Tri-Valley First Team, as did sophomore teammate Josiah Ramon. Every regular starter for North Marion received All-League recognition, including Second Team honorees Emry Patterson and Colin Barrow, as well as Honorable Mention Jordan Kendall, Nat Barrell and Shane McKillip.
- Grant Lucas of the Bend Bulletin contributed to this story.