Oregon's High School Sports Source
- Written by DRH
- Published on April 30, 2009
- Hits: 694
North Eugene 6-4
We’re officially two-thirds of the way through the MWL season, and we’re finally seeing things with a little clarity.
#1 Thurston marches on, still undefeated in league play. They’re four games ahead of second place, and own tiebreakers against every other school. They’ve clinched a playoff berth, and one more win will clinch their second straight league title.
The unprecedented success for Thurston continues. What more can you say? The Colts are on a serious run. Not just in their last 12 games (all wins), but over the last two seasons, where they’ve gone 41-8, and 24-1 in the MWL (to date). They reached the state championship game last year… can they win the MWL’s first state title since South Eugene went back-to-back in 1961 and 1962? Another round of MWL play and we’ll find out.
Springfield is our big mover of the week. They went 4-1 in the second round, dropping only a 9-6 game at Thurston. They’ve been a team of streaks this season: winning their first five, losing 7 of 9, and now winning 5 of their last 6. Their latest hot streak has vaulted them into second place, tied with North Eugene; and the Miller’s 4-0 win over NE earlier this week knots the season series between the two at 1-1.
#8 North Eugene had themselves a solid week – 12-1 winners over Marshfield, 8-0 against Churchill, 5-0 vs. Willamette – but when they weren’t working over teams, they found themselves getting worked instead. Thurston began the damage by beating up on the Highlanders at Swede Johnson 11-0, and Springfield’s aforementioned shutout dropped NE from sole possession of second place.
Both North and Springfield own tiebreakers over Churchill. Essentially, the Lancers are 3 games out of playoff contention with 5 to play. The bizarre reality for Churchill is that the Lancers – MWL champions in 2004, 2005, 2006, and state championship runners-up in 2007 – will likely miss the postseason for a second straight year. After reclassification sent Sheldon and South Eugene to the Southwest Conference, most expected Churchill to be annual state contenders in 5A.
Dates to Remember
May 4. North Eugene @ Thurston. The final showdown should be a rematch of a game that “never happened” – the 9 inning, 0-0 pitchers duel between Tim Keller and Chris Reed that was replayed a day later to the tune of a 6-3 THS win.
May 6. Thurston @ Springfield. Springfield has played their cross-town rivals pretty well both meetings this year. The #2 seed will be on the line for the Millers. It’s going to be a heck of a rivalry game.
May 8. Springfield @ North Eugene. If both teams lose to Thurston, this one will all but decide the #2 seed – the winner should be a game up in the standings, and own the tiebreaker. Major playoff implications.