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Vikings fall to Sunset

baseball -- Forest Grove bows out of the playoffs with a 5-0 setback against visiting Sunset
by: Chase Allgood,

Forest Grove ended its season last Thursday with a tough 5-0 loss to Sunset in the first round of the Junior State baseball playoffs.

Forest Grove matched Sunset in nearly every facet of the game, but ultimately could not get over the hump against Alexander Lafollette, who tossed six innings of shutout ball to pick up the win.

'Their pitcher, he was tough,' said Forest Grove coach Joe Baumgartner. 'Their defense also played really well behind him.'

Sunset turned three double plays in support of Lafollette, who struck out seven and allowed just six hits. The southpaw took a one-hitter into the fifth inning before giving up three hits in the frame.

Trailing 3-0 at that point, Forest Grove squandered a golden opportunity to get on the board when a leadoff baserunner was erased trying to stretch a single into a double. The next two hitters singled, but Lafollette manage to escape the inning without allowing a run.

Sunset then tacked on two insurance runs in the sixth and seventh for the final 5-0 margin of victory.

'They were pretty tough,' Baumgartner said of the Vikings' opponent. 'It seemed like they got a hit in just about every inning.'

Sunset got on the board in the top of the first and never looked back, using that early momentum to control the game. A leadoff single, followed by a botched pickoff attempt and a passed ball put a runner on third, and Sunset brought the run home with a two-out RBI single to right.

'They scored a run they shouldn't have scored,' said Baumgartner. 'That was big for them. Once they got that lead they played with a lot of confidence.'

Forest Grove's Aaron Huson pitched well but was saddled with the hard-luck loss. The rising freshman went seven innings, giving up seven hits and five runs, although only two of those runs were earned. He struck out three batters and walked two in the complete game effort.

'Aaron threw well, but we just didn't play as good defense behind him as Sunset did for their pitcher,' said Baumgartner.

The season over, Baumgartner said the players and coaches are looking forward to enjoying some time away from a baseball diamond.

'The thing about baseball is that between school ball and summer ball, it's a long season,' he said. 'The kids have other things to do. Some of the kids are involved with football, some are getting ready to go to basketball camp, families go on vacation - you could tell some of them were looking forward to doing other things.

'Our kids had a great summer, but it's a long season. These kids have played close to 50 games since March.'