The 6-seed Oregon City Pioneers have had a tough road this post season racking up wins against the 3-seed Central Catholic Rams, 7-seed McNary Celtics and the 1-seed Jesuit Crusaders.
Now the Pioneers can add the 1-seed Roseburg Indians to the list of victories after a 2-1 win on the road at Legion Field in Roseburg on Tuesday.
There were many skeptics that believed that the Pioneers run was going to come to an end at Legion Field but Oregon City quieted the nonbelievers after junior pitcher Rilyn Lewchuk struck-out the Indians last 2-batters to get the win.
“Roseburg said they were ready for Jesuit” Lewchuck said “that irritated the coaches and us the players, so we showed them we were the number one team.”
Lewchuck only gave up 4-hits, 1-run, 0-walks and acquired 4-strikeouts against the high-powered Indians offense that earned 212-runs in their run to the 6A OSAA semifinals.
The Pioneers wins this post season have been achieved through solid pitching and stellar defense.
“We have a good pitching staff here” Lewchuck said about the Pioneers rotation “but we know our brothers (other teammates) are going to be behind us so it gives us allot of confidence.”
It was not just Lewchuck playing with confidence but the entire team.
The Pioneers defense had an uncanny ability to beat the play at 1st-base crushing the Indians opportunities to get on base.
Oregon City defended 10-grounders and 7-flyballs while only giving up 1-error in the process.
Roseburg did get some traction in the bottom of the 4th-inning when David Irvine started off the inning with a double, which garnered the phrase “Here comes the engine” from one of the Roseburg players.
One out latter senior Josh Graham drove Irvine home with an RBI double that tied the game at 1-run apiece.
After Roseburg’s single run of the game the Pioneers fielded 2-flyouts to end the 4th-inning and stop the “train” in its tracks.
In response the Pioneers worked Cary Swalwell into scoring position in the top of the 5th for Marc Morris to drive Swalwell home on a 5-3 groundout for the winning run of the game.
The Pioneers offense has seemingly come at the most opportune time in this post season and it was no different to get this victory.
“The biggest thing right now is were on a roll” head coach Greg Lord said “and that the kids believe.”
The Pioneers have now played themselves into the OSAA 6A finals and they exude confidence.
Now they face the last remaining team from the bottom bracket the Thurston Colts.
The Colts ended the season as the 2nd overall ranked team in the state and have scored an impressive 236-runs this year.
Oregon City will once again rely on solid pitching and their defense to bring in one final victory this season.
-Jesse James NWPreps.net