And then there were THREE!
More than five weeks into the 2022 season, the number of teams yet to taste defeat is down to three. All are 2A/1A schools. None is ranked No. 1 in the classification, either by the coaches in the OSAAtoday Coaches Polls or the computerized rankings found on OSAA.org.
That number was seven two weeks ago.
6A South Medford, which was 8-0 on April 7, lost three consecutive games at home starting April 9. Roseburg twice defeated the Panthers last Saturday in a double header.
Siletz Valley / Eddyville Charter was just 1-0 when the last Notebook was published. The Warriors have since lost three times in games that have not been competitive.
Hidden Valley, the top-ranked team in 4A, had its 29-game unbeaten streak, stretching over two years, snapped by Henley in Game 1 of an April 15 double header. 29 games is a 4A record.
“We just didn’t play clean enough to win No. 30,” said coach Mark Vidlak. “I’m ery proud of our kids for being tough enough to set the all-time 4A mark and tie the big classification wins streak. Now that the streak is over, our focus is on winning the next game!”
Hidden Valley is 2-0 since the Henley loss, including revenge in the second game of the twin bill. The Mustangs’ record over last three seasons is 55-6.
Tuesday blues-day for Dufur / South Wasco County
Dufur / South Wasco County was unbeaten at 9-0 going into Tuesday’s game at Kennedy. Kennedy (12-1) was one of the unbeaten teams until April 6, when Western Christian edged the Trojans by a run. Kennedy returned the favor to Dufur on Tuesday, scoring a run in the top of the first and making it hold up for a 1-0 win.
Luke Beyer led off the game with a hit and ended up scoring on a grounder from Riley Cantu.
The rest of the game was dominated by pitching and defense. Kennedy junior LHP Ethan Kleinschmit threw a complete game one-hitter, striking out 13.
“He was tough and has been all year,” said Trojan head coach Kevin Moffatt.
Dufur / South Wasco County’s pitchers also were outstanding. Senior lefty Isaac Anthony and senior RHP Brock LaFaver combined to strike out 12 Kennedy batters while yielding a total of three hits.
“Their two pitchers are studs; as good as anyone in the state I think,” Moffatt said. “They are big, strong dudes. We always like playing them. They have a cool setting over there and they always have good teams. It was a lot like our matchup last year, a 2-1 game. It’s tough to score runs against pitching like that.”
“That was some game between two outstanding teams” said Dufur coach C.S. Little. “The pitching and fielding for both teams was stellar, which brought an uncharacteristic halt to each team's usually high offensive production. Both teams feel they will extend to the postseason and will welcome a rematch if the stars align.”
“Dufur is an outstanding team,” Moffatt said. “CS Little does a great coaching job over there. I think if we played them 10 times they probably beat us eight. Those are the types of teams we try and play in non-league contests.”
Okay, so which are the unbeaten three?
As of today, the teams without a loss are Neah-Kah-Nie (10-0), Weston-McEwen (8-0) and St. Paul (12-0). All are ranked among the top 10 in the OSAA’s computerized rankings, but none is among the top five, which are currently as follows:
1. Umpqua Valley Christian
3. Heppner / Ione
4. Dufur / South Wasco County
5. Western Christian
NKN is No. 6, with a double header scheduled tomorrow versus winless Portland Christian. The Pirates have had only three close games, including Tuesday’s 13-11 decision over Portland Christian. What’s the secret to Neah-Kah-Nie’s success?
“We really don't have a secret,” said coach Rob Herder. “We have no real No. 1 pitcher and no home run hitters. What we do have is a group of boys who play baseball with a little bit of that old school vibe. Our offense is built off of putting the ball in play and moving runners around the bases with every at bat. Right now, the lineup we send to the plate just wear guys out.
“Deryk Rachiele is one of two seniors. He anchors our attack as a 3-spot hitter who is very versatile, offering a little pop in the bat combined with a small ball mentality. On the mound, the Pirates present a staff of number No. 2 pitchers about six guys deep. We truly pitch by committee, with juniors Eddie Loza, Parker Hopkins, Jacobee Wilkinson, and sophomore Anthony Allen throwing the bulk of the innings so far. Throwing strikes and letting our defense make plays is what we are living on. I don't think perfect games or no hitters will be a factor for us out on the ball field. We do take pride in the fact that we hustle to every ball, pick up each other, and rely on no one athlete in the program. I guess our secret is that we don't really have one.”
Weston-McEwen dominated a double header yesterday with Pilot Rock / Nixyaawii / Ukiah to improve to 8-0. The TigerScots gave up three runs in the second game, which was a surprise. Weston-McEwen had won its previous five games by shut out. Blaine Peal and Peyton McLouth, both tall, senior right handers, have been pitching standouts for the TigerScots.
Then there is 1A St. Paul. We wrote extensively about the Buckaroos on March 24, when they were 2-0. Dwayne Nolin’s team has since won 10 more in succession. The Bucks have won 17 games in a row dating back to last year, the longest active streak in the state.
St. Paul won its three games last week against Vernonia by a combined score of 26-6. Warren Rose, Clay Smith and Lance Tuck all turned in strong performances on the mound, while Clancy Koch went 4-10 at the plate with five RBIs.
The flip side of the coin…
As of today, eleven teams have yet to win a game. This includes Jefferson, which lost its first five games before forfeiting the rest of the season. But it also includes two teams ranked 25 and 26, respectively, in the OSAA computerized 2A/1A rankings. That’s better than half the teams! What gives?
Well, both No. 25 Portland Christian (0-7) and No. 26 Gaston (0-8) are in Special District 1. Each of those teams so far has played only undefeated NKN, undefeated St. Paul and 9-3 Knappa, a team that was undefeated during the regular season a year ago.
“It has been a rough start to the season,” Gaston coach Brian Wlhelm admitted. “We have yet to be able to practice on our home field due to the rain. Running drills and practice in a gym or on a football field is less than ideal.
“Early in the season, we dealt with a few injuries to both my starting varsity pitchers. But the kids’ morale is high and we are working hard to get turned around and start moving forward.
“Whether it's baseball or in real life kids need to know winning isn't everything. They have to know that's its acceptable to lose and how to deal with that and how to bounce back. As long as they are playing as a team and trying their best, there is nothing more I can ask for. We win as a team and we lose as a team.”
Gaston has a game scheduled tomorrow at Amity. The Greyhounds open a three-game series versus Portland Christian on Tuesday. Something’s gotta give…
Streaking at Reynolds
Reynolds started the season 1-8, then responded with six wins in a row heading into Tuesday Mt. Hood Conference game versus Sandy.
“The biggest thing for us is that we have been a lot more consistent on the mound,” coach Kyle Swoboda said. “We struggled to throw strikes early in the season, which led to a lot of runs being scored. We have cut the number of walks allowed in half in games. Our pace of play has picked up because of that, which has also led to better defense. Lastly, our guys offensively have really bought into their roles.”
Stoianoff showin’ off
Sophomore Henry Stoianoff had been Ida B. Wells' top JV pitcher in the pre-season.
“With a full varsity staff, it was more important for him to develop by actually pitching on JV instead of sitting on varsity,” noted head coach Jeremy Shetler.
The weather took a toll on the team’s schedule, with rainouts and games getting moved. Four-game weeks have been commonplace for the Guardians, who also endured a stretch of five games over six days.
Worried that the team could run into trouble with pitch counts and with all JV games postponed, Wells called up Stoianoff last Friday for the McDaniel game. Stoianoff, who stands 6-2, throws from the right side and plays the corner infield when not pitching, went 2-2 as a late-inning replacement in the dominating win.
One day later, Stoianoff found himself on the mound against Franklin. A collision knocked starting pitcher Russell Petersen out of the game with a 5-1 lead. Stoianoff got the call and, over the next four innings, he didn't give up a single run, while only allowing three hits and two walks. He struck out five.
“In his first varsity appearance, he not only picked up the win, he also gained the respect of the upperclassmen,” Shetler said.
Odds and ends…
Senior outfielder Jordan Maldonado was hitting .375 over his first 10 games with 14 steals for Cascade…Jesuit hurlers Nobel Meyer and Nelson Keljo tossed back-to-back no hitters. Meyer hurled his gem versus Sunset on April 7. Keljo followed with his no-no versus Southridge five days later…Wilsonville won three games last week versus St. Helens by a combined score of 32-1. The Wildcats enjoyed incredible weeks from Cole Hubka, who went 7-7 with seven runs, four RBIs and nine steals; and Max Bledy, who was 4-5 with eight runs, four RBIs and five steals…
Knappa and Nestucca traveled to Jesuit HS last Saturday for a double header on the turf. The day included rain, hail, bright sunshine, a snow delay, a lengthy thunder delay, two victories by Knappa, and a five inning no-hitter with 14 strikeouts by Knappa's Drew Miller… With Evan Berkey dishing and Hunter Barber and George Meeker raking (five hits, six runs, six RBIs combined), Amity broke a five-game losing skid last Friday in a big way, defeating Westside Christian, 19-1… Blake Stavros tossed a complete game shutout on Saturday in Willamette’s 11-0 win over North Eugene. Travis Grantom had a multi-hit game for the Wolverines, including a homer. Willamette won the second game of the double header as well, 8-0, with big hitting from Noah Cox and Ryan Prescott…
Parkrose is playing a JV schedule this year. Covid hit the school’s diverse community hard and many players had to get jobs to support their families. Of the 20 players out for baseball, 85 percent are freshmen and sophomores…Parkrose baseball had one massive highlight last week, albeit in a JV game. Sophomore SS Kenji Johnson, in a game at Milwaukie last week, went 3-for-3 with seven RBIs. One of his hits was a triple. The other two were inside the park home runs, including a grand slam! “I have never seen this before in my life,” noted Parkrose coach Cameron Baker.
Going going gone goodbye!
In this space, and the ones below, we have recurring categories that will appear in every baseball notebook for the rest of the season. Varsity coaches may add to these categories by email to [email protected].
Everyone digs the long ball.
Here, we will recognize those Oregonians who have gone yard three or more times so far this season. We will add to it in subsequent Baseball Notebooks as coaches tell us about the players who are dinger ringers.
5 – Devin Bell, senior SS, La Grande
5 -- Vinny Salvione, senior SS, Rex Putnam
4 – Noah Stone, senior OH, Hidden Valley
3 - Rochne Beecham, senior OF, Wilsonville
3 -- Isaac Hill, senior SS, Hidden Valley
3 -- Ryan VandenBrink, sophomore C, West Linn
3 -- Braxton Dill, senior C, Glide
3 -- Nathan York, senior OF, Umpqua Valley Christian
3 – Griffen Bushnell, senior C, Willamette
It’s a blur
Throwing hard in high school is the easiest way to get outs.
In this space, we recognize those Oregon hurlers who hit 85 mph or higher when they get on the bump.
Fischer Barber, freshman RHP, Bend
Easton Corey, junior RHP, Pendleton
Parker Guinn, junior RHP, McMinnville
Isaac Hill, senior RHP, Hidden Valley
Ky Hoskinson, senior RHP, McMinnville
Kaden Isola, junior RHP, Bend
Jackson Jaha, senior RHP, Clackamas
Nelson Keljo, senior LHP, Jesuit
Payton Lambert, junior RHP, Pendleton
Maddux Molony, junior RHP, Thurston
Mason Spellecy, senior RHP, Hood River Valley
Austin Stalwick, senior RHP, Gresham
Sy Sullivan, senior RHP, Tualatin
Drew Talavs, junior RHP, West Linn
Ian Umlandt, senior LHP, Sherwood
Nolan Umlandt, sophomore RHP, Sherwood
Nate Vidlak, senior RHP, Hidden Valley
Jake Von Lubken, junior RHP, Hood River Valley
Paul Wilson, junior LHP, Lakeridge
In this space, we recognize Oregon baseball players who have 15 or more stolen bases at this point in the season, based on the information we have received.
29 -- Tony Florez, senior SS, Coquille
21-- Cole Hubka, senior SS, Wilsonville
18 -- Cam Christenson, senior SS, Sherwood
17 -- Cody Reece, senior SS, Cascade Christian
17 -- Kollin Schumacher, sophomore CF, Regis
17 -- Dean Tucker, junior 2B, Coquille
17 -- Levi Hoyle, sophomore OF, Coquille
17 -- Eli Brown; junior C, Stayton
16 -- Clancy Koch, senior OF, St. Paul
15 -- George Pohlschneider, sophomore OF, St. Paul
15 -- Alex Hendrickson, senior 3B, Reynolds
15 -- Nick Frith, senior OF, Stayton
Get a whiff of this!
Missing bats is an art.
In this space, we recognize those pitchers who, through a minimum of 10 innings, have struck out batters at the rate of about two per inning.
Isaac Hill, senior RHP, Hidden Valley
Ky Hoskinson, senior RHP, McMinnville
Maddux Malony, junior RHP, Thurston
Tanner Manning, senior RHP, Regis
Drew Miller, senior RHP, Knappa
Blaine Peal, senior RHP, Weston-McEwen
Warren Rose, junior LHP, St. Paul
Clay Smith, freshman RHP, St. Paul
Nate Vidlak, senior RHP, Hidden Valley
In this space, we recognize hitters who have put up outrageous stat lines in a single game.
Kaden Isola, junior OF, Bend – 4-6 with two triples, a home run, stolen base and seven RBIs in April 16 game v. West Salem
Braxton Dill, senior C, Glide – 3-3 with a walk, two HRs, six RBIs, four runs scored and a steal on April 14 v. Elkton
Leo Renzema, junior OH, Rex Putnam – 2-4 with a double, home run and six RBIs on April 15 v. Scappoose. Also was the winning pitcher!
Jackson Miller, senior OF, Ida B. Wells – 4-5 with a double, HR, four RBIs and three runs scored in March 21 win over Mead of Colorado.
Jackson Fera, sophomore 1B, Rex Putnam – 3-4 with two HRs, two runs and four RBIS in April 5 win over St. Helens.
In this space, we recognize pitchers who have thrown seven-inning no-hitters this year.
Ky Hoskinson, senior RHP, McMinnville – April 11 v Newberg (perfect game; struck out 16 in 3-0 win)
Garrett Holpuch, senior RHP, Corvallis – April 18 v Central (struck out 13 in 4-0 win)
Bryson Nygren, freshman RHP, Regis -- April 8 v. Central Linn
In this space, we list those players, in the current senior class and younger, who have signed National Letters of Intent in baseball or have made a commitment to attend a college or university of their choice. Congrats! It can be so demanding but at the same time is so rewarding.
Here’s whom we have so far. The list is 50 strong!! It is a golden age for Oregon prep baseball! We will add to this list in subsequent notebooks as we receive notifications.
Rochne Beecham, senior OF, Wilsonville – Pacific Lutheran
Max Bledy, senior C, Wilsonville – Pacific University
Jackson Bui, senior OF, Jesuit -- Linfield University
Cam Christenson, senior IF, Sherwood – Linn-Benton CC
Peter Coakley, senior RHP,, Sunset – Loras College
Ryan Cooney, junior SS, Jesuit – University of Oregon
Easton Corey, junior RHP, Pendleton – Oregon State
Jacob Dodge, senior 1B, Southridge – University of Oregon
Thomas Ferroggiaro, senior IF, Central Catholic – Santa Clara
Aiden Gebhard, Senior OF, Redmond – Lane CC
Blaise Heher, senior RHP/OF, Lake Oswego – Claremont Mudd Scripps
Isaac Hill, senior RHP, Hidden Valley -- Oregon State
Cole Hubka, senior SS, Wilsonville – University of Utah
Gabe Howard, sophomore, West Linn – University of Oregon
Jackson Jaha, senior IF, Clackamas – University of Oregon
Silas Jolicoeur, senior 1B, Westview – Los Medanos College
Ryan Hart, senior OH, Jesuit – Whitworth University
Nick Holm, senior IF, Clackamas – Linfield University
Evan Holman, senior C, North Marion – Bellevue CC
Ky Hoskinson, senior IF, McMinnville – Cal State Bakersfield
Hayden Kaiser, senior 1B, McNary -- Pacific Lutheran
Nelson Keljo, senior LHP, Jesuit – Oregon State
Ely Kennel, senior IF, Santiam Christian – Oregon State
Ever Lamm, senior RHP, South Umpqua – Linn-Benton CC
Cooper Johnson, senior 1B/LHP, Mountainside - Linn-Benton CC
Levi Jones, junior 3B, Jesuit – Oregon State
Cole Jorgensen, senior C, La Grande – Western Oregon
Gage Lee, senior IF, Sunset -- Allan Hancock CC
Brody McMullen, senior RHP, West Salem – Linn-Benton CC
Noble Meyer, junior RHP, Jesuit – University of Oregon
Andy Miller, senior SS, Mountainside - Seattle University
Michael Miller, senior C, Tualatin -- Catholic University of America
Maddox Molony, junior SS/RHP, Thurston – University of Oregon
Cooper Newman, senior RHP, Newberg – Walsh University
Wyatt Norris, senior P, West Linn – Pacific Lutheran
Kellan Oakes, senior RHP, Canby – Linn-Benton CC
Logan Plunkett, senior RHP, Westview – University of Puget Sound
Logan Ready, senior RHP, McNary -- Pacific Lutheran
Joe Reitz, senior C, Hood River Valley – Colorado School of Mines
Caleb Richter, senior OF, Hidden Valley -- Bushnell University
Chris Rogers, senior IF, Sprague – Edmonds College
Dawson Santana, junior 2B, Lakeridge – University of Oregon
Vinny Salvione, senior IF, Rex Putnam - University of Portland
Mason Spellecy, senior IF/RHP, Hood River Valley – Mesa CC
Spencer Sullivan, senior OF, West Linn – Linn-Benton CC
Sy Sullivan, senior RHP, Tualatin -- Fitchburg State University
Drew Talavs, junior P, West Linn – Oregon State
Ian Umlandt, senior LHP/OF, Sherwood – University of Oregon
Mason Utech, senior C/SS, Lakeridge -- Utah
Nate Vidlak, senior RHP/3B, Hidden Valley – College of Idaho
Ryan VandenBrink, sophomore C, West Linn – Oregon State
Paul Wilson, junior LHP, Lakeridge – Oregon State
If you are a HS coach and want to add someone to the list, by all means email me, [email protected], put “baseball commitment” in the subject line and provide the info in the manner shown above.