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Crusaders fall short at state

The Jesuit Crusaders were resigned to second place by the time the state championship baseball game ended.

'I thought we were going to get here all year,' Stephen Kost, one of Jesuit's 12 seniors, said after Newberg beat the Crusaders 13-4 in Saturday's Class 4A final. 'I wish we could have brought the title home.'

'We had an awesome season,' Jesuit senior Hans Grauert said. 'Every practice was fun, every game was fun. It just ended up being their day in the final.'

Jesuit will return several key players next season, including catcher Joe Newman, who will be a senior.

'Hopefully, this experience will help us next season if we get here again,' Newman said. 'We're losing a lot of great players, so it's going to be tough.'

Before a crowd of about 2,500 at Volcanoes Stadium in Keizer, Newberg rapped out six hits and scored four runs in the first inning. The Tigers added four runs in the third to support star pitcher Dallas Buck, who now will play for Oregon State.

The Crusaders, the Metro League champions, didn't score until the seventh inning, when Kost and Adam McCool homered.

The game was Jesuit's first trip to the championship contest in baseball. Newberg played in the final last year and lost.

'They're a good team and were fired up from the beginning of the game,' Jesuit coach Craig Webster said. 'It looked like they were trying to erase what happened last year.'

Newberg finished with 17 hits, including 11 off Crusader ace Scott Reese, a 6-7 lefty headed for Creighton. Those hits included a first-inning homer aided by a strong breeze to right field.

Fall sports: Tentative schedules for PIL fall sports have been released, and two things stand out ÑÊno football games are scheduled at PGE Park, and Cleveland, Marshall and Roosevelt expect to have lights.

For years, PGE Park was home to Portland Interscholastic League double-headers as well as Central Catholic games. The PIL will now use Lincoln's Mike Walsh Field instead. Four double-headers are set for Lincoln, including an Oct. 17 twin bill with Wilson versus Grant at 5:30 p.m., followed by Jefferson versus Lincoln.

The schedule also includes 7 p.m. games at Cleveland, Marshall and Roosevelt, which are still in the process of raising money to install lights. Grant will play two games at Grant Park in September:Êa nonleague game against Parkrose and a league contest against Roosevelt.

PIL Athletic Director Greg Ross says the lighting project, which began in November 2001, is still at the permit process, where it was a year ago. That's because of a drop in funding Ñ most of the money was to have come from Portland Family Entertainment, which only made one of its five $80,000 payments as part of its original contract to operate PGE Park.

The PIL spent most of the winter raising money for the spring season. And the permit process is significant, too.

'It might have been easier to raise money for spring than to go through the permit process,' Ross says. 'If everything goes really well, we have some chance of having lights in the fall.'

Ross says the field lighting plan still needs about $450,000, although he is working to lower that figure. Fund raising won't begin until the permit process is completed.

Notes: Jesuit, the scourge of the Class 4A ranks for many public schools, still hasn't won a state title in baseball, softball, boys or girls track, girls golf, girls basketball, wrestling or boys swimming. The school dominates the fall and winter, though, having won state titles in girls soccer and boys and girls cross country in November. Jesuit's girls basketball team played for the state title. The boys basketball and volleyball teams each played in the state semifinals. Sheldon (football and boys soccer) is the only other 4A school to win more than one state title this season.

Among the players drafted by major league teams last week: Franklin senior Jeff Pry, who went in the 17th round to the Cleveland Indians; former Reynolds High pitcher Shannon Wirth, who went to the San Francisco Giants in the 38th round; and Sandy senior Tommy Skipper, who was drafted by the San Diego Padres in the 36th round despite never having played for his high school team. Skipper practiced once for a major league scout last year.

A coaching era might have come to an end over the weekend when Sheila Scott led two Cleveland teams into the annual Rose Festival dragon boat races. Scott created the school's program more than eight years ago and built it into a force that has had as many as 65 kids competing. Because of time demands Ñ Scott owns Emanon Cafe, a Northwest Portland restaurant ÑÊshe doesn't expect to be back next season. 'I wanted to make 10 years, but it's not like I get a Brownie button,' she says.

Contact Cliff Pfenning at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .