Marshfield sophomore Logan Shipman has been stellar in his varsity debut
Marshfield sophomore Logan Shipman has been stellar in his varsity debut

At least every other week during the spring season, we’ll talk some Oregon high school baseball. This is the place!

Blanchet does it again

Blanchet Catholic met higher-seeded Umpqua Valley Christian in a 2A/1A semifinal last year and came away with a convincing win. On Monday, the teams met again, with UVC ranked one spot higher than the Cavaliers in the pre-season OSAAtoday Coaches Poll.

Once again, Blanchet emerged with the dominating win, 17-3.

The Cavaliers won by scoring 10 runs in the fifth inning. Noah Hancock and Tyson Smith combined for five hits and seven RBIs in the game and Drew Bartels earned the win giving up zero runs and striking out eight. He also tripled and scored three runs.

Blanchet, which edged The Dalles, 11-10, yesterday, has started the season 4-0.

Two orders of Salami and then some!

St. Mary’s of Medford was no competition for 3A No. 2 Cascade Christian in their league-opening double dip on Tuesday, giving up 32 runs in each game versus the Challengers, but the biggest news was made by senior 1B Jack Knips in the first game. He went 4-5 with a double, TWO grand slams and 11 RBIs!

The RBI total is believed to be a school single-game record.

Cascade Christian has started the season 5-0.

Wilsonville, Summit meet again

Less than two weeks ago, Mac Bledsoe jumped over the Wilsonville defense to alley-oop Summit to a state boys basketball title, ending the Wildcats’ hopes of winning three in a row.

On Tuesday, the teams met on the diamond, with 5A No. 2 Wilsonville hosting No. 3 Summit. Wilsonville scored four runs in the sixth inning to break open a close game in a 10-3 win.

“It was a very tight game,” said Wilsonville coach Bryn Card. “Even when we got up late, they fought hard and the bounces went our way. They are a very talented team that will find success once they get their stride.”

An RBI single from Owen Eggert in the second for Wilsonville opened the scoring and the Wildcats tallied one or more runs in each of the ensuing four innings as well. Wilsonville led 6-0 after five innings and got a command performance on the mound from Justin Schramm, who blanked the Storm on three hits while striking out six. He hit 92 mph on the gun.

After Summit scored in the sixth off of a relief pitcher. Wilsonville answered with the four-spot to put the game out of reach. Wilsonville got five hits in the frame, including a double from Kheller Larson and a two-RBI single from Berkley Reents. Wade Hagey plated the final run of the inning with a deep, deep sacrifice fly that was tracked down by Summit’s athletic CF, Slater DeBrun. Hagey closed out the win on the mound, thwarting a Summit comeback attempt.

“Overall it was a playoff caliber game and was a quality win for the Wildcats,” Card said. 


Topping the top 10?

The first 10 days of 2024 have seen the teams ranked in the pre-season coaches polls do relatively well. In 6A, the teams were a collective 20-7 through Tuesday’s play. 5A teams were 22-10. 4A teams were humming along at 16-11. 3A teams had compiled a 19-13 record. And 2A/1A schools were checking in at 19-10.

Add it all up and top 10 teams are winning at a 65 percent clip. That’s 100 wins over a 162-game major league season, pretty darned good considering top teams are battling each other and teams in smaller classifications are challenging bigger schools.

But could the top 10 records be even shinier? With the inclusion of some schools off to fast starts, the answer is “certainly yes.”

In 6A, five schools outside the pre-season top 10 were undefeated with three or more wins through Tuesday.

Sprague was 4-0 and has been destroying teams in addition to handing No. 10 North Medford its lone loss on the year. The Olympians graduated nine off of last year’s state quarterfinal team, so to be hot out of the gate, with strong pitching, was somewhat of a surprise. The staff thus far has yielded only five earned runs and is off to a great start, with a collective ERA of 1.21. Junior Jace Dalton, who is 2-0, and senior Hayden Laudette have been particularly effective.

On the offensive end, junior Boyd Messman has gotten off to a scorching start, hitting .643 with three homers and nine RBIs. Seniors Brady Stoops and Avery Wilson and junior Andrew Mhoon also have started well. Each is hitting above .400. Coach Luke Buchheit also thinks his defense has bene first-rate in the early going and should be good all season.

“We are coming off a tough two-game stretch that included a long road trip to North Medford and then coming home to play Beaverton the next day,” Buchheit said. “I was proud of our guys’ effort and focus. Right now we are gearing up for a tough road game [today] playing a top 5A perennial powerhouse in Wilsonville.

Clackamas, Central Catholic, Reynolds and Sandy all started 3-0. All are Mt. Hood Conference denizens.

Clackamas won 17 games a year ago and graduated just three, but two were pitchers and all three were all-league. J.J. Winkle’s Cavaliers are a senior group, however, and expected to be contenders behind standout pitcher Hudson Normand, big hitting 1B Kayle Pisano, OF Ryan Eaton and INF Joey Giancola.

Central Catholic, which owns the best win of the season among this quartet (No. 4 Sherwood), is the defending Mt. Hood Conference champion and has an experienced roster back. Seven primary starters and two more with experience return for the Rams, including LHP/OF Cade Gehlen, a University of Portland recruit; junior All-Conference RHP Logan Anzellotti, junior 1B Wyatt Brown, versatile junior Lance McKay and senior RHP Cameron Ames. Fourth-year coach Justin Barchus also is bullish on some newcomers to the roster.

“This will be the most talented roster I've had since I've been at Central Catholic,” he said. “Our league will be one of the toughest in the state this year in my opinion. It was extremely young last year and, even though we return a ton, so does mostly everyone else. We'll have our hands full to try and defend our title, as I think five teams could legitimately win the MHC this year.”

Is Reynolds one such team? The Raiders won only twice last year but were very young. Sophomore INF Ty Sconfienza leads six returning starters, only two of whom are seniors. The Raiders continue their youth movement with two notable freshman, speedy Kaden King at the top of the lineup and Wyatt Tindall as a middle-of-the-order hitter.

Sandy’s fast start is not surprising considering the Pioneers graduated no hitter with more than a handful of at-bats last year and no hurler who tossed more than two innings. Among the many khe key players for Sandy, which was over .500 last year for the first time since returning to 6A; are Mt. Hood Conference Pitcher of the Year Matt Kosderka, senior infielder Kobe Sparks and three HM All-League performers, pitchers Bill Lucas and Luke Kovac and OF Max Green.


In 4A, Cottage Grove has started 4-0 and St. Helens has impressed in a 4-1 opening run.

Cottage Grove, which has already halved its win total from last year, returns all but two starting outfielders. After winning league games for the first time in two years last season, more winning is in the offing behind SS Christian Spear, C Micah Spear and INF Isaiah Cushman. The Lions will benefit from two hard-throwing transfers and three exciting freshmen.

St. Helens won just six times last year and graduated six, but only one was a regular. Third-year coach Matt Lokken said that his Lions were in a lot of games but faltered often in the late innings. Being more experienced should produce more wins in 2024. Players to watch include senior P/SS Conner Weiss, senior P.CF Skyler Bjornstrom, senior P/C Braden Ellis and junior C/INF Zach Edwards. Lokken said that his team expects to make the playoffs for the first time since 2015.


Marshfield, which was 7-16 last year, has started 4-1. The Pirates won their opening four games for the first time in decades, including a win over 3A No. 3 Brookings-Harbor; before falling to undefeated 3A Douglas in their last game, 4-0. The team is being led by four seniors as well as sophomore Logan Shipman and juniors Ashton Thornton and Lucas Folau. Shipman’s first two varsity starts have produced 14 Ks and yielded just one earned run over 9.2 innings. Thornton and Folau both hit .450 or better with power to start the season.


In 3A, Douglas has gotten off to a nice start behind Tristen Ledbetter, who blanked Marshfield; and Valley Catholic is 3-1 with two shutout wins and its only loss to an out-of-state team. The Valiants won 15 games last year and graduated just two. This is a team whose key players are Will Erickson, Jordan Baumgartner, Justin Lulay and James Pearson.


The surprise team in 2A/1A may be Country Christian / North Clackamas Christian. The Cougars, who were two above .500 last year, are 4-1 to start 2024, losing only to 1A power St. Paul by a single run. Matt Haring’s team also owns a win over pre-season No. 6 Regis, a game where Tyson Smith went six innings and struck out 16! With almost everyone back, including Caleb Norton, Andrew Lee and Tanner Crandall, it would be a surprise if the team doesn’t make a second consecutive trip to the post-season after not making it the previous seven seasons.

Wednesday Update: The ranked teams went 14-5 on Wednesday. Reynolds fell from the ranks of the unbeaten with a loss to Forest Grove.

News and notes

The Irrigon Knights have started the season 2-0, outscoring opponents 13-1. 

“Pitching has been solid for us, and our hitting is getting the job done!” said coach Fredy Vera. “My varsity are juniors and seniors, so we all feel confident we can do some great things this season.”

Irrigon was 14-9 a year ago.


Senior RHP Gabe Howard pitched six strong, with 12 Ks while allowing just one hit for two-time defending 6A champion West Linn in a Tuesday win over McMinnville.

Mitch Rowe, Ethan Simshauser and Ryan Hemsley each had two hits to pace the offense. Rowe drove home three in the 8-0 win.


Sophomore Bodie Stuben hit a game-winning single in the bottom of the 8th to help Hood River Valley walk off Forest Grove last Friday, 11-10. Senior Jordan Webber came out of the pen and spun three innings of no-hit relief with six strikeouts to keep Hood River in the game.


Four pitchers for defending 4A champion Scappoose -- Grayson Grover, Brandon Neilson, Caiden Daley and Joe Fagan -- threw a combined no-hitter at Hood River Valley on March 13, in a 9-1 win to start the season. 

Scappoose Baseball then enjoyed the early spring sunshine with a couple of unprecedented pre-spring-break home games on Saturday. The team split a competitive doubleheader with Marist Catholic, falling, 4-3, in Game 1 before prevailing, 7-5, in the second game. Junior infielder Quinton Olson went a combined 5-8 on the day. 


Sunset has started 3-0 behind ace LHP Kruz Schoolcraft, who is 2-0 and has thrown 10 innings with 20 Ks in combined no-hitters versus Roosevelt and Silverton. Schoolcraft, a junior, also is getting it done at the dish, hitting .556 with a homer and three RBIs. Senior Connor Anderson also is off to a swift start, with four driven home and a .571 average.


South Salem is 3-0 to start the year. In Monday’s 5-0 win over Tigard, senior RHP Carter Nelson became the all-time program leader in innings pitched by throwing six shutout innings against the Tigers.

In the same game, sophomore catcher Teagan Scott went 4-4 with 2 runs, an RBI, and 5 stolen bases in 5 attempts. He also threw out a would-be base-stealer.