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West Linn shuts down Viking bats

Vikings' offense withers against senior Riley Wilkerson, an Oregon State signee

Forest Grove earned its way into the Class 6A state baseball playoffs, but the Vikings' postseason stay was short-lived.

Forest Grove's offense was shut down on Monday night by Oregon State-bound pitcher Riley Wilkerson of West Linn, who tossed a three-hitter to lead the Lions to a 4-2 victory in the first round of the playoffs.

'We were lucky to get the two runs we did,' Forest Grove coach Kevin Tucker said. 'He's one of the top three pitchers we've seen all year. He was unbelievably sharp.'

Wilkerson didn't walk a batter on Monday and only went to a full count twice against Forest Grove hitters. He gave up an unearned run in the third inning and an earned run in the fourth, but was otherwise lights out in a complete game victory.

Tyler Elich drove in both of Forest Grove's runs, but the Vikings dug themselves a 4-0 hole in the second inning and never recovered.

'(Wilkerson) was tough. I thought we'd get to him eventually with our lineup, we just couldn't put anything together consistently,' Tucker said.

Brandon Carow started for Forest Grove after pitching the Viks to a 5-0 win over Aloha in the play-in round of the state playoffs last Tuesday. Carow scattered seven hits in a complete game shutout against the Warriors, but didn't have quite as much luck against West Linn.

'He's worked hard his entire career and hasn't gotten to pitch in a big playoff game, plus he's been our best pitcher lately, so we thought Brandon deserved to have that opportunity,' Tucker said.