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Baseball: Indians win another in walk-off fashion

Robby Backus scores on a wild pitch as Indians win 1-0


JOHN WILLIAM HOWARD - Scappoose senior Robby Backus is batted to third base in the bottom of the seventh inning on Tuesday at Hillsboro Stadium. Backus scored on a wild pitch moments later, winning the game for the Indians.Scappoose High School principal Andy DeBois and his young son loitered around the home team's dugout late into the evening on Tuesday at Hillsboro Stadium, hoping for the chance to pick up a fly ball and looking forward to seeing the Indians score in a tough battle with Tillamook.

Late in the game, the lure of hot chocolate and the threat of scoreless extra innings in the cold May air forced DeBois and his charge to abandon the contest early, and end up missing the play of the game.

It didn't come until the final seconds of the bottom of the seventh, as senior Robby Backus leapt on a wild pitch with two outs to score and win their 16th game of the year.

Scappoose had beaten Tillamook 11-1 and 10-3 earlier in the season, with their eyes set on a league title. The Cheesemakers, on the other hand, came into the game with a 3-20 record and hopes of nothing else but to play spoiler.

Junior Riley Maloney kept Tillamook in the game, allowing just six hits and striking out five batters. And if not for having hit Backus twice — once in the decisive seventh inning — Maloney might have helped the 'Mooks to get away with one.

“Our goal is to win a league championship. It's not going to come easy, and we found that out tonight,” Scappoose head coach Robert Medley said. “We know [Maloney] throws well; he's thrown well in the two games against us, and they play defense and play well when he's on the mound.”

As it happened, both teams had brought their defensive A-games. In the top of the fourth, Tillamook had a man on base with no outs, only to see their advantage snuffed out as Tribe shortstop Justin Hering gathered up a grounder, tagged second and threw to first for a double play.

In the next inning, Scappoose did it again. This time, Tillamook had runners on first and second with one out, and hit a grounder to third base. Scappoose jumped on the play, forcing the 'Mooks' leadoff runner out at third and throwing Maloney out at second.

In the bottom of the fifth, Tillamook returned the favor. Owen Parsons was walked and Backus absorbed a pitch to the shoulder, only for both players to be thrown out on the next play as Tillamook's shortstop got in front of a grounder from Owen Fortney in time to toss Backus out at second and Fortney out at first.

Staunch defense aside, a solid stint from Fortney on the mound in the top of the seventh was what set the Indians up for their game-winner. With a runner on first, Fortney stepped up and struck out two batters — the second of which on a full count — to stymie the Cheesemakers' chances at an upset.

Fortney then doubled in the bottom half of the inning, pushing Backus to third base and into scoring position.

The win sets up a slate of crucial games down the stretch of the league schedule. Scappoose will travel to Seaside on Thursday afternoon, and hosts Astoria on Friday afternoon at 5 p.m. in a game that could very well decide the Cowapa League championship. The Indians will then close Cowapa League play with a makeup game against Banks on Saturday, May 16 at 3 p.m.

Scappoose will also play in a non-league showdown with county rival St. Helens on Tuesday, May 19 in the first Seven-Mile War meeting between the two teams since 2013.

SUMMARY

Scappoose 1, Tillamook 0

TILL 000 000 0 — 0 3 0

SCAP 000 000 1 1 6 1

Runs-hits-RBIs: Ford 0-1-0, Patton 0-1-0, Parsons 0-1-0, Backus 1-0-0, Fortney 0-2-0, Millar 0-1-0

Pitching

Hits-strikeouts: W-Fortney 3-6; Maloney 6-5

Scappoose 6, Valley Catholic 4

SCAP 000 050 1 — 6 7 4

VALL 102 001 0 — 4 5 4

Runs-hits-RBIs: Ford 0-1-0, Patton 1-0-0, Holmason 0-1-0, Wack 1-0-0, Parsons 1-2-1, Johnson 2-1-1, Fortney 0-1-2, Hering 0-1-0, Nelson 1-0-0

Pitching

Hits-strikeouts: Nelson 4-7, Fortney 1-4; Bagly 5-9, Maccnhemedi 2-3

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