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Pioneers fall one win short of playoffs

Sandy's 4-3 loss to David Douglas keeps it from advancing to metro playoffs
by: David Ball, Sandy first baseman Greg Luty tries to catch a runner too far from first base.

Sandy's AAA American Legion team made an early statement at the district tournament by blowing out Gresham 9-3 on Thursday, July 13.

The host Pioneers took an early 2-0 lead when Ryan Trosko blasted an RBI-double to the left-field fence in the third inning.

Sandy put the game out of reach in the fourth by stringing together six straight hits to build a 7-0 lead. Eugene Wright highlighted the burst with an RBI-triple to center field, while teammates Spencer Rydman and Greg Luty connected for run-scoring doubles.

'We came out strong with the bats, and that gave me a nice cushion to work with,' Wright said.

He also went the distance on the mound, holding Gresham scoreless in all but the fifth inning.

The Gophers cut into the gap when Justin Reeves drove an RBI-single down the right-field line, followed by a run-scoring blooper over the second baseman by teammate Zach Brown. Gresham threatened further damage with runners at first and third, but Wright ended the comeback bid with a strikeout - his fifth of the night.

After having a runner tagged out at the plate earlier in the inning, Sandy added a pair of insurance runs in the seventh when Jordan Elliott drove a two-run single past the left fielder.

'Getting that first win is huge,' Sandy manager Garet Luebbert said. 'You want to get the momentum going your way.'

Friday, July 14

Sandy was on the verge of keeping its perfect record in tact, before David Douglas used a three-run rally in the sixth inning to earn a 4-3 win.

Sandy moved in front in the first inning when Chris Houle blasted a two-run double over the center fielder's head.

Peter D'Aboy hit a sacrifice fly to cut the gap to 4-3 in the seventh inning, but the Pioneers stranded the tying run at first base.

Sunday, July 16

Sandy kept its playoff hopes alive by beating Southeast Portland 4-2 to start Sunday's action, but a 13-2 loss to eventual-champion East County eliminated the Pioneers later that night.

Sandy finished in a tie with David Douglas for the No. 2 spot in their pool, but the Scots advanced based on their 4-3 win against Sandy in head-to-head action.