by: David Ball, Sandy graduate Austan Mason runs to first after laying down a second-inning sacrifice bunt.

SALEM - The Mt. Hood Community College baseball team started fast and survived a couple late scares to sweep Chemeketa during its Southern Region opener Thursday, March 29.

The Saints rushed to a 7-0 lead in Game 2 and held on for a 7-4 win to complete the doubleheader sweep.

Gresham graduate Justin Speer started the scoring with an RBI-double in the first inning, and teammate Justin Reynolds added a solo homer on the first pitch of the third inning.

'We hadn't done that all year, so building that big lead was good for us,' Reynolds said. 'It got our confidence up, but it also became hard to focus.'

Mt. Hood continued to pile on with three more runs in the fourth inning. Tyson Nelson and Brett Davis belted back-to-back RBI-doubles to the home-run fence that chased Chemeketa's starter off the mound.

The Saints' apparently safe 7-0 lead began to crumble late in the game when a series of throwing errors in the bottom of the fourth led to three Chemeketa runs. The Storm moved closer on a home run by Kevin Coddington to lead-off the fifth inning.

Chemeketa threatened to take the lead by loading the bases in the sixth inning, but relief pitcher Mike Horner grabbed a comebacker on the mound to end the inning.

Chemeketa didn't make much noise in the seventh inning after catcher Andrew Hernandez picked off a runner at first base.

'He was sitting out there after every pitch, so I gave a little fake back to the mound and went for it,' Hernandez said.

Mt. Hood won the first game 5-3 in extra innings, tying the game on a RBI-single by Sandy graduate Austan Mason in the ninth inning. The Saints won the game in the 10th on a two-out, two-run double by Davis. Nelson hit a home run in the game, while pitcher Greg Bobnick - another Sandian - earned the win.

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