Chris Toh hits .424; Krieger boasts a 1.17 ERA

Gladstone High School’s top summer baseball team is having quite a summer.

The Gladiators (13-7 in league, 17-14 overall) finished second only to Scappoose (18-2) in their Junior State Division I league, gaining an automatic seed into this week’s state tournament.

The Gladiators are one of only 16 teams in the Junior State Division I State Tournament, which runs Thursday through Sunday at Crescent Valley High School and Western Oregon University.

Gladstone’s 11-team Junior State league included teams from Milwaukie, Putnam, St. Helens, Hood River, Molalla, Scappoose, Estacada, Franklin, Wilson and Horizon Christian.

“It’s been a fun summer,” said Gladstone coach Casey Webster. “The kids have done a great job getting in the cage and working hard. Most of them have been there all summer long.”

The work in the cage has paid dividends, because the Gladiators boast a .303 team batting average heading into the state tournament.

Gladstone senior second baseman/outfielder Chris Toh has been on fire at the plate. He takes a team-leading .424 batting average into the state tournament, with 30 RBI and 27 runs scored.

Junior-to-be Ben Fox sports a .392 batting average, with 25 runs scored and 15 RBI; senior-to-be Mitchell Foeller has a .362 average, with 15 runs and 13 RBI. Junior-to-be Austin Krieger (.316) has 27 RBI; incoming junior Trask Telesmanich (.295) has scored 26 runs; senior-to-be A.J. Swalko (.320) has scored 23 runs.

The Gladiators have also been efficient on the bases, with 48 stolen bases in 31 games.

The Gladiators were in good form last Saturday, as they handled Astoria, winning 10-5 in a state-tournament seeding game played at Astoria. The Gladiators outhit the Fishermen 12-4 and Krieger had a no-hitter going through the first six innings.

Krieger struck out nine, walked two and allowed two hits and no earned runs in 6-2/3 innings of work. All five of Astoria’s runs were unearned.

“He made some awfully good pitches we thought were strikes,” said Webster. “They had us scratching our heads. I took him out because his pitch count was up....

“Austin threw well. He’s a competitor. He throws strikes. He’s been doing that all summer long. And we’ve been hitting the ball.”

Krieger boasts a 1.18 ERA on the summer, with a 3-3 record, and 39 strikeouts and 12 walks allowed in 47-1/3 innings.

Led by Toh (3 stolen bases), the Gladiators had eight stolen bases in Saturday’s game with the Fishermen. Foeller went 4-for-4 at the plate and Swalko went 3-for-4 to head up the hitting.

The Gladiators dropped their final league game, 9-8 in nine innings, in a July 17 game played at Scappoose. They outhit the Indians 15-12.

“I was pleased with the way we swung the bats,” Webster said. “They just got one more break than we got. We had a chance to win it in the ninth.”

Swalko went 3-for-5 at the plate and scored twice; Toh went 2-for-4, driving in three runs.

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