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Apollos build for 08 Metro

Sunset takes out McMinnville 5-2 to improve to 4-2 in non-league play
by: MILES VANCE, GIT ‘ER DONE – Sunset junior Michael Duggan watches his second-inning bunt bounce into play during his team’s 5-2 win over McMinnville on Monday.

TIGARD - Sunset's baseball team was happy enough to take a break from school this week, and at least as happy to keep playing baseball.

The Apollos lifted their preseason record to 4-2 on Monday when they beat McMinnville 5-2 in the second round of the Westview Tournament at Tigard High School. Junior pitcher Alex LaFollette threw four innings of two-hit baseball and junior Nick Olney came through with two doubles and one RBI to power the victory over the Grizzlies (3-2).

'We came prepared,' LaFollette explained. 'We woke up and came out ready to play.'

'We played a little small ball and executed twice and moved the ball over and got good hits that brought 'em home,' added Sunset's first-year coach Brian Sullivan. 'We're feeling pretty good.'

Sunset took charge in the top of the first when Dan Manus singled, moved up on a groundout by Alan Willes and later scored on a throwing error by McMinnville catcher Mitch Sitton on David Hosmar's strikeout.

The Apollos pushed their lead to 2-0 in the top of the second inning. Olney led off with a double to right-center, took third on a bunt by Michael Duggan and scored when Wyatt Poland grounded to short.

Then, after LaFollette shut out McMinnville for the third straight inning, the Apollos came back to score again in the top of the fourth. David Hosmar led off with a walk, moved up on Don Elliott's bunt and scored when Olney doubled to center field to make it 3-0.

The Grizzlies rallied back with two runs in the bottom of the frame, however, getting an RBI grounder from Cameron Clow and bringing home another on a LaFollette wild pitch, but LaFollette escaped further damage by getting the final two outs of the frame on grounders to shortstop Kevin Taylor and Hosmar at third base.

Sunset then put the game away in the top of the fifth, taking advantage of three walks issued by McMinnville pitcher Sam Paterson, to score twice, once on a bases-loaded walk to Sunset's Elliott and the other on a wild pitch for the final 5-2 margin.

Scott Williams came on to pitch scoreless innings in the fifth and sixth, then gave way to Taylor for a scoreless seventh. In total, the three Sunset pitchers allowed just two hits with one hit batter, one walk and one strikeout.

'I think we're going to do a lot better than last year,' LaFollette said. 'Last year, we didn't make the playoffs, but this year we have a pretty good shot.'

'We've got guys that can rip it. Hopefully, the defense and pitching will come around,' Sullivan said.

Olney was the only player in the game with multiple hits, while Manus, Willes and Hosmar added Sunset's other hits.