It took 8 innings for a winner to emerge as the Clackamas Cavaliers ended South Salem’s season to head to the OSAA State Championship game for the second consecutive season.
South Salem finishes the year 24-7 (13-3). Clackamas is 24-6 (16-1).
Clackamas scored the game’s first run in the bottom of the second. Nate Vaughn walked with 1 out. A strikeout later, Vaughn advanced to second on Ryan McDonald’s single to right. An error on a Grant Schoen groundball then loaded the bases before Alex Claxton drew a walk to give the Cavaliers a 1-0 lead.
The Cavs added their second run in the bottom of the third. With 2 outs, Tucker Grote singled to right field. He eventually moved up on a wild pitch before Vaughn hit a slow roller between first and second that pulled first baseman Kaiden Doten off the bag. Second baseman Noah Ferguson ended up fielding the ball and throwing to pitcher Ryan Brown covering first. While the first base umpire made a questionable safe call, Grote rounded third base and scored on the play, making it 2-0 Clackamas.
After trading zeroes in the fourth, and the umpires finally replacing the illegal baseballs that had been used for the first four innings, South’s bats quickly came to life. Greyson Hanowell and Elijah Enomoto-Haole hit back-to-back singles to lead off the fifth. Collin Vogt then laid down a drag bunt; the throw to first looked late, but the umpire – who had collided with a fielder who blocked his view – still called Vogt out. After a conference with the rest of the officials, the umpire’s call stood. Ferugson then hit a grounder back to the mound, but Hanowell was caught too far off third for the second out of the inning. That’s when Sean Alvarado doubled to plate Enomoto-Haole and cut the lead to 2-1. Clackamas opted to intentionally walk Aaron Zavala, which turned out to be a good decision, as they got Brown to hit into an inning-ending groundout.
After Gavin Fredinburg retired Clackamas in the top of the fifth, Greyson Hanowell hit a 2-out solo homerun to tie the game in the bottom of the fifth.
The teams traded zeroes in the sixth and seventh innings, forcing extra frames.
The Saxons failed to score in the top of the 8th before Clackamas ended the game in the bottom half. Ryan Ahlstrom led off with a perfectly-placed popup single in short left field, then advanced to second on a groundout. South Salem opted to intentionally walk Schoen to put the double play in order. Claxton followed with a deep flyout, and Ahlstrom tagged to advanced to third. The Saxons then intentionally walked Clackamas’ 3-hitter, Greg Mehlhaff, to load the bases and give a force play at every base. On the next pitch, Jake Zehr hit a hard grounder up the middle. Shortstop Ryan Brown made a great diving play to field the ball, but as he went to pull the ball from his glove to make a throw to second, the ball popped out and South Salem’s season came to an end.
Clackamas goes on to face Westview in the OSAA State Championship game at 5:00pm on Saturday.
The Saxons graduate 4 seniors this year – Gavin Fredinburg, Beau Smith, Collin Vogt, and Aaron Zavala. They went out in style, as no team in the 64-year history of Saxons Baseball has ever won more games in a single season than the 2018 Saxons.
South Salem Hitting Totals:
|Sean Alvarado rf||4||0||1||1||0||1|
|Aaron Zavala c||2||0||2||0||2||0|
|Ryan Brown p-ss||4||0||1||0||0||1|
|Danny Alvarado 3b||4||0||1||0||0||2|
|—Zach Case pr||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Kaiden Doten 1b||4||0||0||0||0||0|
|Greyson Hanowell dh||3||1||2||1||0||0|
|Elijah Enomoto-Haole lf||4||1||2||0||0||1|
|—Brayden Neuharth pr||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Collin Vogt cf||3||0||1||0||0||1|
|Noah Ferguson 2b||3||0||0||0||0||0|
|Gavin Fredinburg ss-p||–||–||–||–||–||–|
2B: Sean Alvarado
HR: Greyson Hanowell
TB: Danny Alvarado, Sean Alvarado 2, Ryan Brown, Elijah Enomoto-Haole 2, Greyson Hanowell 5, Collin Vogt, Aaron Zavala 2
RBI: Sean Alvarado, Greyson Hanowell
ROE: Noah Ferguson
FC: Ryan Brown, Noah Ferguson
HBP: Greyson Hanowell
GIDP: Elijah Enomoto-Haole
CS: Aaron Zavala
PIK: Ryan Brown, Zach Case
Clackamas Hitting Totals:
TB: Ryan McDonald, Alex Claxton, Bubba Jaha, Tucker Grote, Nate Vaughn, Jake Zehr, #16 2
RBI: Alex Claxton
ROE: Grant Schoen, Kyle Kirsch
FC: Greg Mehlhaff
South Salem Pitching Totals:
L: Gavin Fredinburg
WP: Ryan Brown
Pitches-Strikes: Ryan Brown 84-47, Gavin Fredinburg 71-45
Groundouts-Flyouts: Ryan Brown 0-5, Gavin Fredinburg 6-6
First pitch strikes-Batters faced: Ryan Brown 12-17, Gavin Fredinburg 10-23
Clackamas Pitching Totals:
W: Jeff Nelson
HBP: Jeff Nelson
Pitches-Strikes: Jeff Nelson 26-15, Greg Mehlhaff 101-62
Groundouts-Flyouts: Jeff Nelson 1-2, Greg Mehlhaff 4-5
First pitch strikes-Batters faced: Jeff Nelson 5-7, Greg Mehlhaff 13-27