Greyhounds fizzle against Nestucca

Regardless of what happens over the last two weeks of the baseball season, Gaston is virtually guaranteed a third- or fourth-place finish in the Northwest League. But that only partially explains last week’s letdown.

The Greyhounds pounded Nestucca 13-0 last Tuesday to get their 10th win of the season, then turned around and gave away both games of a doubleheader against the Bobcats on Saturday. The Jekyll-and-Hyde performances allowed Nestucca to leapfrog the Hounds into third place in the league standings, and it left Gaston head coach Sean Casey looking for ways to snap his squad out of its slump.

“We just decided to quit hitting halfway through (Saturday’s first) game,” Casey said. “A lot of key guys just aren’t hitting, and you can’t win too many games like that.”

After crushing Nestucca on Tuesday, the Hounds came out flat on Saturday and fell behind early in the opener. Gaston put the tying run on third base twice in the final two innings, but couldn’t drive in the run it needed in a 6-5 loss. In the second game of the doubleheader, Gaston jumped out to a 6-0 lead only to watch its bats go silent, and Nestucca rallied for a 7-6 victory.

“Our batting average with runners in scoring position isn’t very good right now,” Casey said. “We just aren’t getting it done.”

Despite the up-and-down week, Casey still feels good about his team’s chances down the stretch. The league’s third- and fourth-place teams will face each other in a one-game playoff on May 18, with the winner slated to play the second-place finisher later that day for the right to advance to the Class 2A state playoffs.

“Those losses were disappointing, but it didn’t really matter because we’re pretty much locked into that fourth spot, and we can still finish third,” Casey said. “I’m thinking they’ll get it back together. All it will take is two or three guys to get hot and I think the rest of the team will follow.”

Locals fare well at invitational

Amy Hilger of Banks led all performers from western Washington County with a third-place finish in the high jump on Saturday at the 49th Centennial Invitational in Gresham.

The Banks junior cleared 5 feet to finish behind Centennial’s Courtney Atteberry (5-4) and Lake Oswego’s Erika Treske (5-2). Hilger’s best clearance of 5-5 this season led Class 4A and was tied for the third-best mark in the state regardless of classification as of Tuesday afternoon. Hilger’s six points put Banks in a tie for 31st place at the meet, won by North Valley of Grants Pass (50 points).

Forest Grove also competed at the invitational, and while no Vikings scored points, several finished high in the standings of their respective events.

Paul Schot led all Forest Grove participants with an 11th-place result in the long jump with a mark of 20-3, just a half-inch shy of his personal best. On the girls side, Shannon Hammond was 14th in the high jump (4-8), and Alyssa Villalobos took 16th in the long jump (15-3½).

On the track, Seth Berdhal and Murimi Nyamu ran personal-best times in the 3,000 meters. Berdhal, finishing in 30th place, was timed in 9 minutes, 17.57 seconds, while Nyamu was one place and .04 behind him.

Villalobos in the 200 (28.75, 34th place), Jessica Bickford in the 400 (1:06.79, 32nd), Kimberly Heesacker in the 1,500 (5:35.72, 52nd), Corinne Reed in the 100 hurdles (18.05, 38th), Zac Collins in the 300 hurdles (43.15, 26th), and Kyle Haag in the javelin (146-1, 33rd) also recorded PRs at the meet.

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