Baseball: North Marion powers into state semifinals for first time since 2005
A commanding victory in the postseason? Check.
Back-to-back playoff games with double-digit runs for the first time in school history? Yep.
A bid to the semifinals for the first time since 2005? Indeed.
The North Marion baseball team extended its stellar season with a 12-3 rout of La Grande in the Class 4A quarterfinals at home May 30.
The victory vaulted the fourth-seeded Huskies into the semifinals, where they were scheduled to face top-seeded Sisters (24-4) on the road at 5 p.m. June 3. The winner will advance to face either No. 2 Henley or No. 6 Ridgeview in the June 7 championship game at Volcanoes Stadium in Keizer.
North Marion secured a spot in the semifinals with timely hitting and a strong pitching performance by Jordan Kendall, who tossed a complete game while tallying three strikeouts and giving up just four hits.
After spotting La Grande a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning, the Huskies tallied five runs in the bottom of the second thanks to three hits and two defensive errors and took a 6-3 lead after four innings following a sacrifice fly by freshman Dylan Doubrava.
North Marion engineered another offensive outburst in the bottom of the fifth inning, racking up six runs to make it 12-3, and Kendall held La Grande scoreless in the final two frames.
Tristan Wampole went 3-for-4 with two doubles and five RBI to lead the Huskies on offense. Senior shortstop Kyle Williamson, who was recently named the Tri-Valley Conference player of the year, went 3-for-4 and scored two runs. Four other players recorded hits for North Marion.
NORTH MARION 11, Hidden Valley 5
The Huskies were outhit by Hidden Valley, but they 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 playoffs May 28.
Leading 3-2 in the bottom of the fifth inning, North Marion extended what proved to be an insurmountable lead after catcher Nat Barrell hit a bases-loaded single to spark a seven-run outburst. Williamson cleared the bases with a triple that brought home two more runs, then stole home to add to the Huskies lead.
Barrell and Williamson combined for seven RBIs as Hidden Valley starter James Chastain put seven North Marion players on base with free passes.
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.
The high-powered Mustangs, who entered the game as a top-five offensive team, responded with three innings in the top of the sixth. But Breshears was able to shut them down for the final four outs to give the Huskies their first playoff win since 2010.
Phil Hawkins contributed to this report.