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Indians eliminated in 1-0 defensive battle

Tribe defense holds Molalla to one run, but offense struggles
by: John Brewington, Nathan Kranyak tags out another runner at home during last Wednesday’s loss to Molalla in Tigard.

TIGARD-The Scappoose Indians just needed to find a little offense on Wednesday to go along with their stingy defense and they could have advanced in the 4A state baseball playoffs.

As it was, the Indians only came up with a couple of hits on the day, and dropped their opening round game to the Molalla Indians 1-0.

'When you've been around this game long enough you see everything,' Scappoose Coach Robert Medley said. 'Hitting all yearlong has been our nemesis. We lost six games by seven runs and five of those by one run. We won 19 games and the Cowapa League championship. I hated to see us (go out so early).'

Medley said the Molalla pitching wasn't that overwhelming, but that Scappoose was hitting the ball right at players on the other team.

'He (C.J. Stith) competed and threw strikes and did not give many free passes (two). He did a good job of not walking and we hit the ball hard,' Medley added, 'We battled out of some problems in the first three innings, and Kody (Backus) came in and did a nice job. Blake also pitched well.'

The game had been moved to Tigard's all-weather turf field in the early afternoon on Wednesday.

'It was definitely tough to get in a position to host at your house and Mother Nature rears her ugly head and takes the wind out of your sails,' Medley noted.

Scappoose had moved up to the No. 2 seed in the state playoffs, and was still the home team. Molalla was the No. 19 seed originally, but moved up to the 15th seed as some teams lost playoff games. They beat Mac-Hi 7-5 in their play-in game. Scappoose topped another Tri-Valley Conference team, North Marion, 6-5, in 10-innings in their play-in game.

Scappoose did a remarkable job on defense in the contest, overcoming some pitching glitches that saw eight Molalla batters walked. The only run to score came off a walk in the fifth. Two of Molalla's three hits also came in that inning. A walk, a sacrifice bunt, and a single moved the first runner to third. He went home on a shallow hit fielder's choice.

Scappoose turned a double play in the first inning, threw out a runner at second in the second inning and caught another runner off base in the third. After the Tribe's sixth walk with one out in the fourth, Kody Backus came in to pitch. He retired the side. Even in the fifth, Scappoose caught a runner off third to stymie any further scores. Another runner was thrown out at home by Blake Updike from right field after a catch in the sixth.

Updike came in to pitch in the seventh, and the Tribe once more got out of trouble with some good defensive play.

On offense, however, the Indians couldn't mount much of a threat. It didn't seem so at the outset. Paul Revis led off with a walk, and stole second, but was tagged out as he slid too far over the slick artificial surface. In the third, Josh Ooley beat out a throw at first, and went to second as the ball got loose. That was as far as he could go.

It was only in the sixth that the Indians got more runners on base. Kyle Kramer led off with double in the right center gap, and Revis would walk. Molalla then turned a double play to end the threat. The Indians went down in order in the seventh.

The Indians were disappointed, but knew they had made the effort.

'It was a good year. I'm proud of the kids. They played their tails off and never quit. We won our first Cowapa championship in 17 years and I'm extremely proud of them. They certainly weren't going to feel good about it (the loss), but the season was something to be proud of,' Medley said.

Scoring:

Molalla 1, Scappoose 0

Molalla 000 010 0-1 3 0

Scappoose 000 000 0-0 2 0

Molalla-C.J. Smith and Jack Pfau; Scappoose-Will Sprite, Kody Backus (4), Blake Updike (7) and Nathan Kranyak.