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Titans upset Hawks in round two

The No. 2-ranked Skyhawks fall 6-2 in the Class 6A state playoffs

TIGARD - It wasn't supposed to end like this.

Not for a Southridge baseball team that had accomplished so much, won so often and built such high expectations.

But end it did for the Skyhawks, in a 6-2 loss to West Salem in the second round of the Class 6A state playoffs at Tigard High School on May 25.

'We were just off base the whole day,' said Southridge coach Don Fitzgerald. 'We just didn't hit the ball. We had a lot of pop-ups and ground balls all day.'

Southridge, which shared the 2011 Metro League championship with Westview, was the second-rated team in the OSAA power rankings, a No. 1 seed in the playoffs, and carried a 23-3 record into its matchup against the Titans, the third-place finisher from the Central Valley Conference.

But none of that mattered last week at Tigard. West Salem, which beat Sunset in its playoff opener, got a stellar performance from pitcher Aaron Sigmund, who handcuffed the Skyhawks on seven hits while striking out three.

'I give them credit. They made all the big plays and their pitcher threw strikes,' Fitzgerald said.

West Salem pushed across two runs early in the game against Southridge pitcher Jake Azevedo (who allowed just five hits, two walks and one hit batter while striking out two), but the Skyhawks came back within 2-1 in the fifth.

There, Corey Pool singled, stole second, moved up on a Derek Keller single, and scored on a Blake Montague hit.

West Salem answered, though, and answered in a big way in the top of the sixth. Danny Zachary led off with a double and scored to make it 3-1. Azevedo hit the next batter he faced, and one out later, gave up a soft RBI single to Colby Rice. The Titans' final two runs scored when they hit a liner off the Southridge third baseman's glove and into left field.

Despite the final result, Fitzgerald remained focused on his team's great season and the contribution of his team's seniors.

'We had a really good year,' Fitzgerald said. 'This was the hardest working group of seniors I've ever had. I wouldn't change a thing.'

Zachary led West Salem offensively, going 2-for-3 with a double, a run scored and two stolen bases.