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You are here: Home Blogs MWL/SWC Blog This Week in Baseball Quarterfinals Edition

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This Week in Baseball Quarterfinals Edition

A break down of all four 5A quarterfinal games.

#9 Glencoe Crimson Tide (20-7) @ The Dalles-Wahtonka Eagle Indians (17-11)

How We Got Here: Glencoe won the NWOC and claimed the #1 seed by going 16-5. They outlasted South Albany in the 2nd round, an 11-inning 3-2 home win. TDW finished in a three-way tie for second in the IMC at 15-6, but claimed the #2 seed based on tiebreakers. TDW beat Madison 4-3 on the road in the 2nd round to advance. 

Interesting Fact: Glencoe faced the IMC #2 seed on the road last year, too – and lost 13-5 in the 2nd round to Pendleton.

The Game: Junior P Duncan Wilcox, TDW’s top pitcher, pitched 4 innings of 4 hit baseball against Madison. Only pitching 4 innings might allow him to take the mound again against Glencoe, but that will probably be a game time decision. Glencoe’s Tyler Heck, the Tide’s top arm, went 7 innings against SA, and then the bullpen pitched 4 innings in relief. The Tide’s pitching prospects on Friday might be slightly less abundant.

My Pick: TDW.

#2 West Albany Bulldogs (23-3) @ #1 Thurston Colts (20-7)

How We Got Here: WA ran roughshod over the MWC, going 20-1 and claimed the #1 seed. They’ve won 22 in a row, including an 11-2 win over Crater in the 2nd round. Thurston, likewise, dominated the MWL, claiming the #1 seed by going 13-2. The Colts beat Pendleton 15-5 in the 2nd round to advance.

Interesting Fact: WA and Thurston met last year in the semifinals, an 11-9 Thurston win that put the Colts in the state championship game. In fact, this will be the 4th meeting between WA and THS in the last two years – all Colt wins, by a combined 4 runs.

The Game: One of those meetings included a 4-3 WA loss to Thurston at THS’s Flaten Field in this season’s opener. Thurston’s ace, senior Chris Reed, pitched 5 innings of one-hit ball against Pendleton, and is in the mix to pitch again Friday against WA. If history is any indication, it should be noted that Thurston coach Phil Dube started last year’s ace, Darrell Hunter, in all four postseason games. Both teams have powerful offenses and top-flight pitching. The only thing not right about this game is that it’s played in the quarterfinals, and not later on.

My Pick: Thurston.

#2 Ashland Grizzlies (22-4) @ #7 North Eugene Highlanders (17-11)

How We Got Here: Ashland won SSC by going 15-1, coming back strong in their 5A title defense. They beat Crescent Valley 4-0 in a 2nd round home game. NE finished tied for second in the MWL with Churchill, but claimed the #2 seed based on their 2-1 series advantage against the Lancers. NE took to the road and beat Cleveland 3-0 in the 2nd round. NE’s win knocked the first league champion out of the playoffs.

Interesting Fact: Like WA/Thurston, these two have met before. Up 4-2 in the top of the 7th, NE had two outs on the Grizz but (then) senior Sam Gaviglio (now starring at Oregon State) hit a 3-run HR to give Ashland a 5-4 lead in last season’s quarterfinals. Ashland would go on to win the game, and would win the 5A state championship two games later. I doubt the heartbreaking loss has been forgotten.

The Game: NE’s senior P Tim Keller, whom I maintain is the best pitcher in 5A and probably the entire state regardless of classification, pitched all 7 innings of NE’s 3-0 2nd round win at Cleveland. Will he be able to take the mound again on short rest? Last year, he pitched into the 9th inning of North’s 2nd round 1-0 win at Corvallis, and had to rest his arm against Ashland. If he’s not able to go, will freshman Andrew Moore have what it takes to get the job done? Moore received all-league honors this year, but he’s never seen the postseason. Ashland, despite Gaviglio’s graduation, continues to be a force at a statewide level and went 18-1 this year against 5A competition. North has struggled to consistently string hits together. They’re going to need to learn to manufacture some runs if they want to win this one.

My Pick: Ashland.

#6 Bend Lava Bears (21-6) @ #5 Corvallis Spartans (24-4)

How We Got Here: Bend went 17-4 while claiming the IMC #1 seed, then beat Hillsboro 9-8 a 2nd round home thriller to advance into the quarters. Corvallis went 18-3 in the MWC, losing out on the league crown to West Albany but still claimed the #2 seed. They beat St. Helens 8-1 on the road in the 2nd round.

Interesting Fact: Bend and Corvallis’ combined record is better than any other quarterfinal match-up. Corvallis was overshadowed much of the year by West Albany, and the IMC doesn’t always get a lot of publicity out West, but these are two quality teams fighting for a state championship.

The Game: As with the rest of the quarterfinal games, a lot is going to be decided by who pitches. Bend’s junior ace Chase Clair went 6-1 with a 1.29 ERA in the regular season, but got touched up a bit by Hillsboro. He pitched 4 innings and should be available, but again, that’ll be decided by Bend’s coach on the day of the game. Corvallis’s Aaron Corwin shut down St. Helens in the 2nd round, scattering 5 hits and striking out 8.

My Pick: Corvallis.

If I'm right (and I haven't missed a playoff prediction yet!), the semifinals will look like...

#1 Thurston @ The Dalles-Wahtonka

#2 Ashland @ Corvallis

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