NWOC BASEBALL: Monday Recap

Wilsonville 11, MILWAUKIE 1….the Wildcats cruised to a win in their Northwest Oregon Conference finale to nail down a berth in the OSAA 5A State Tournament, which begins a week from Wednesday. The ‘Cats finished in a tie for second with Rex Putnam, but earned the conference’s second seed to the tournament after taking two of three in the head-to-head series with the Kingsmen.

WEST ALBANY 6, Hillsboro 2….the host Bulldogs built a 6-0 lead after five innings and limited the Spartans to just two hits in a non-league game Monday. The Spartans, with available dates on their schedule due to rainouts earlier in the season, are looking to stay sharp in advance of their play-in game Friday. Hillsboro will play one more non-league tune-up against 6A top-ten Grant at Rutschman Stadium on Tuesday. Four different West Albany pitchers combined to strike out nine Hillsboro batters, with the bookends proving to be most effective. Senior Jacob Miller got the start, retiring all five batters he faced, getting five outs, four via strikeout, while two Spartans reached base on an error and a hit batsman. Junior Brenden Bliss came on to quell a Hillsboro rally in the sixth inning. retiring the final six batters of the game with a strikeout. After a hit batter and three walks forced in a run, Bliss got the final two outs of the inning, but not before a Bulldog error forced Josh O’Neal home with the second Spartan run. With the tying run at the plate and still only one out, Bliss struck out Curran Mitzel and retired Hudson King on a liner to left before retiring the side in order in the seventh. The Bulldogs took advantage of some wildness from Mitzel, Hillsboro’s starting pitcher, to plate two runs in the second inning. After a walk and a hit batter, Jordan Luttrell scored Miller with an RBI single to center. Curtis Zamora knocked in another run with a base hit to left, but Hillsboro left fielder Colin Turnbaugh threw back to second to catch Luttrell for the final out of the inning. A leadoff error opened the door for an unearned run in the third inning and the Bulldogs pushed their lead to 6-0 with a three-run fifth, as O’Neal could not find the plate, hitting a batter and walking four, including two with the bases loaded. The Spartans quartet of pitchers allowed just five hits, but a half dozen walks and two hit batters proved to be very influential in the game’s outcome. Miller and fellow senior Hunter Wolfe scored a pair of runs each for the Bulldogs. O’Neal and Jarred Eichstadt each reached base twice for Hillsboro.