Gladstone High School's OIBA team continued tough in summer baseball last week, upping their record to 15-8 (6-3 in the OIBA) with wins in five games.

The 15-8 overall record is all the more impressive because 14 of Gladstone's 23 games were against teams from high school's in larger OSAA classifications.

“I like our group,” said Gladstone coach Casey Webster. “We're playing pretty good baseball. They're relaxing and having fun. They're swinging their bats and finding a way to get it done.”

Playing five games in six days, the Gladiators last week defeated Milwaukie twice (9-6 and 10-0), St. Helens (3-2 in nine innings), Horizon Christian (14-2) and Putnam (11-5). They hammered out 50 hits in the five games, while yielding 30 hits.

Devin Neer threw a one-hitter in the 10-0 five-inning shutout of Milwaukie, striking out one, while walking no one.

“Devin threw just 36 pitches and 28 of them were strikes,” Webster said.

Ben Fox (2-for-2, 2 doubles, 3 runs scored), Darnell Washington (2-for-3, 2 doubles, 2 RBI, 2 runs) and Andrew Gross (2-for-4, 2 RBI) headed up the offense, as the Gladiators put runs on the scoreboard in four of the five innings.

Four Gladstone errors nearly proved costly in the 9-6 win over the Mustangs. Only three Milwaukie runs were earned. Still the Gladiators never trailed, building a 7-0 lead through the top of the sixth.

The Gladiators hammered out 13 hits, led by Austin Krieger (3-for-4), Branden Loehr (2-for-4), Fox (2-for-5, 2 doubles, 3 runs, 2 RBI) and Washington (2-for-3, 2 doubles, 3 RBI).

Logan Saltares and Trey DePretto pitched for Gladstone, combining for two strikeouts, while yielding five hits and four walks.

The Gladiators played well all-around in the 3-2 win over St. Helens. Krieger pitched a completed game, striking out seven, walking no one and scattering 11 hits.

Trailing 2-1, the Gladiators scored single tallies in the bottom of the sixth and ninth innings to pull out the wins.

Gross led off the sixth with a base hit, advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Washington and a Lion error, and scored on a base hit by Collin Betnar.

Loehr led off the ninth with a base hit. DePretto was safe when the Lions booted the ball on a sacrifice bunt. Consecutive walks by Daniel Contreras and Fox then forced in the winning run.

Loehr (2-for-4, 2 runs) also scored in the third frame. He led off the inning with a double, advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Trey DePretto, and scored on a two-out double by Fox.

St. Helens second-team all-conference pitcher Bryce Sanford nearly pitched a complete game for Lions, facing all but Gladstone's final batter. He had eight strikeouts, while yielding eight hits and two walks.

The Gladiators took charge of the contest with Horizon Christian in the second inning, when they scored 10 runs on nine hits and a walk. Krieger had a bases loaded triple and Contreras had a two-run triple in the big inning.

Neer went the distance on the hill in the five-inning game, striking out seven and walking two, while giving up six hits.

The Gladiators stung the ball for 12 hits, led by Fox (2-for-3, 2 doubles, 3 runs), Washington (2-for-4, 2 RBI), Betnar (3-for-3, triple, double), Krieger and Contreras.

Putnam made a game of it in its 11-5 loss to Gladstone, thanks to five Gladstone errors.

Nursing a 6-5 lead, the Gladiators put five runs on the scoreboard in the bottom of the sixth to put the game on ice. Tyrus Coady had a two-run single, Betnar had a run-scoring single, Neer had a RBI-walk and Carter Watts had a run-scoring groundout in the big inning.

The Gladiators earned a 10-7 edge in hitting, led by Fox (2-for-4, home run, 2 RBI), Gross (2-for-5, 2 runs), Betnar (2-for-3, 2 runs), Loehr (2-for-3, 2 RBI) and Coady (2-for-2, 3 RBI).

The Gladiators conclude the regular season this week, hosting Scappoose tonight at 7 p.m. and Horizon Christian Friday at 7 p.m., and playing Franklin at 1 p.m. on Saturday.

Sporting a 6-3 record in league, the Gladiators appeared likely to advance to the OIBA State Tournament, which runs July 24-27 at Crescent Valley High School and at Western Oregon University. The top four teams from Gladstone's league will advance to the state tournament.

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