No. 2 Huskies top-ranked defense clashes against the Cowboys' sixth-best offense

PHIL HAWKINS - North Marion's Andy Schmitz (left) and Brady Hanson, and the rest of the Huskies, hold home field advantage through the  state playoffs.
With the conclusion of the play-in round of the 4A state playoffs, the No. 2 North Marion Huskies are ready to get back to baseball.

The Huskies (20-4, 10-2 Oregon West) have enjoyed a two week layoff by virtue of winning their first league title since 2014, and will play host to the Crook County Cowboys (16-10, 9-6 Tri-Valley) Wednesday at Bob Brack Stadium.

The Cowboys are in the midst of their first winning season since 2015 and are coming off a 3-0 upset over No. 10 Ontario on Friday to qualify for the first round of the state playoffs for the first time since the OSAA expanded to six classifications in 2006.

Although Crook County finished third in the Tri-Valley Conference, the Cowboys were the top-scoring team in the league, putting up 213 runs — tied for the sixth-best offense in the state at the 4A level.

They'll be going up against a North Marion defense that is not just the best in the classification, but among the best in the state at any level. The Huskies' 52 runs surrendered is better than any program from 3A through 6A and ranks behind just three teams at the 2A/1A level.

North Marion is looking to tally its first playoff victory since 2015, which would lead to another home playoff game on Friday against either No. 7 Astoria (15-8, 11-4 Cowapa) or No. 10 Madras (16-9, 10-5 Tri-Valley).

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