Greg Mehlhaff let out a scream, as his teammates flung their gloves into the air after the Clackamas High junior completed a throw across the infield for the final out in the Cavaliers' 6-2 win over Sheldon in the 6A baseball semifinals Tuesday.
"Coach (Tom) Bohlman is always hitting us sharp grounders, so we are always prepared for plays like that," Mehlhaff said. "It was just 100 percent focus — I'm so excited to get to Salem and to play one more game."
Mehlhaff, a member of the 2012 Gresham Nationals team that played in the Little League World Series, returns to the big stage at 5 p.m. Saturday when the No. 2-ranked Cavaliers (28-3) take on No. 1 West Linn (27-4) in the 6A championship game at Volcanoes Stadium in Salem.
After seeing the Irish break onto the scoreboard first, Clackamas responded with three runs in its first chance at the plate. Mehlhaff highlighted that spurt by delivering a sharp grounder through the middle for a two-run double.
"Starting fast is something we've been doing throughout the playoffs," Mehlhaff said. "They put one on us, but it was really huge for us to bring the momentum back to our side."
Grant Schoen delivered a sacrifice ground ball that scored Mehlhaff, giving the Cavaliers a 3-1 lead that it would not surrender.
View photos from the semifinal game at daveball.exposuremanager.com.
Look for expanded coverage in our Friday, June 2, print edition.