Knights oust Pickles from playoffs
A memorable season came to an end for the Portland Pickles on Saturday night at Walker Stadium.
The Pickles lost to the Corvallis Knights, 4-1 in 11 innings, and fell 2-0 in their best-of-three West Coast League divisional series.
Corvallis advanced to the finals of the four-team tournament and will face either the Bellingham Bells or the Kelowna Falcons, who are tied 1-1 going into a decisive third game Sunday at Bellingham.
The Pickles and Knights battled all year, with Portland finishing one game better overall during the regular season and posting the best record in the WCL, 37-17.
Portland won the first-half South Division title in its first season as a WCL club (the Pickles played two previous years, both in the Great West League).
Corvallis captured the second-half South crown.
The Knights won Friday's playoff opener, 3-2, at Goss Stadium, with Portland failing to capitilize on some key scoring chances.
That was the story line again on Saturday, except even more so, as Portland out-hit the Knights 6-4, but stranded eight runners before the sellout crowd of 2,477
In the bottom of the ninth inning, the Pickles loaded the bases with one out, only to have the threat end with a 1-2-3 double play.
In the 10th, after giving up three runs, they got runners on first and second with one out but failed to score.
Corvallis managed only one hit through the first 10 innings, as Portland starter Brad McVay (University of Portland, ex-Milwaukie High) struck out six batters over five innings and reliever Connor Pellerin (Tulane) fanned six in five frames.
For Corvallis, Louis Crow (University of San Diego) followed his save performance on Friday with a scoreless 11th that gave him the win.
Knights starter Landen Bourassa (University of San Francisco) allowed four hits and struck out eight over eight innings.
Portland took a 1-0 lead in the first as Jace McKinney (University of Portland) doubled leading off and scored on a single by Mike Perez (UCLA).
Bourassa retired the next 14 batters, but Corvallis didn't get a hit until Zak Taylor (Oregon State) singled in the fifth and scored on a two-out, two-strike wild pitch.
Perez finished 2 for 5.