Most baseball leagues around the state are dominated by one or two teams. The Mount Hood Conference is different.
Barlow, Central Catholic and Gresham entered the week in a three-way tie for first place at 10-4. David Douglas was fourth at 8-6.
'And this is nothing unusual,' David Douglas coach Mike Fitz says. 'If we had won on the last day three years ago, there would have been a six-way tie for first.'
Although the top teams have numerous losses, that hasn't diminished the conference's ability to win in the state playoffs. In 2001, Barlow and David Douglas reached the semifinals. Last year, Reynolds and Central reached the second round.
'That shows we have a strong conference,' Fitz says. 'At least that's the way it's been in the past.'
David Douglas senior Jesse Conklin is hitting .511 and is 12 of 13 on stolen base attempts. Senior Brandon Benfield homered off Central ace Kevin Gunderson during a loss Friday. Sophomore pitcher Joe Bosso has turned into the team's ace.
This week's key game is Central Catholic at Barlow on Friday.
GOLF: The PIL girls district tournament is Wednesday at Rose City Golf Course, and Lincoln is the strong favorite.
The Cardinals had four of the top five finishers at middistrict and feature defending state champion Cassie Castleman, the returning district medalist.
Three of the top four nine-hole scores this season, though, were turned in by Grant's May Lynn Chu, who was second at district last year.