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home : sports : sports February 26, 2015

5/28/2013 1:34:00 PM
Outlaws baseball heads to the state semi-finals
Ben Larson has come on strong for the Outlaws this season. photo by Jerry Baldock
+ click to enlarge
Ben Larson has come on strong for the Outlaws this season. photo by Jerry Baldock

By Rongi Yost

The Outlaws crushed Astoria 17-4 at home on Wednesday, May 22 in the first round of the state playoffs, and two days later defeated Greater Oregon League champs Ontario 2-0 in the quarterfinals. Sisters was to move on to the semi-finals and face No. 1 Henley on Tuesday, May 28.

Ontario, who played in the state championship game last year, proved to be a very tough and worthy foe. Sisters had their work cut out for them and it was a chess match the entire game.

Sisters scored in the bottom of the first inning. Nicky Blumm got on base via a walk and advanced to second on a balk. Justin Harrer hit the ball to second for a fielder's choice, which pushed Blumm to third. Nicky scored on a wild pitch and Sisters took a 1-0 lead.

The Outlaws got their second and final run in the fourth. Blumm got a bunt base hit and moved to second on a passed ball. Harrer hit one off the fence for an RBI double. Sisters held onto the 2-0 lead and recorded the win.

Coach Steve Hodges said, "It was a very tough game and we had to fight and scratch for every out. Every base runner was important. Our infield played great defense and Jarden (Weems) and Nicky (Blumm) both had outstanding games with fantastic plays in the infield."

Justin Harrer (sophomore) pitched a two-hitter and, according to Hodges, pitched the best game of his life.

"Justin pitched a gem," the coach said. "He threw the hardest he's thrown all season and was very effective. His curve ball was sharp and had a late downward break. He commanded all three pitches in the zone and kept batters off balance. He attacked hitters and played like he was a senior."

Sisters had four hits in the game and Ontario had two. Each team committed one error.

Two days earlier, the Outlaws routed Astoria 17-4 at home in the first round of playoffs.

The Outlaws had 17 runs, 14 hits and three errors in their victory over the Fishermen. Astoria had four runs, six hits and three errors.

Astoria started the game with two runs in the top of the first inning. The Outlaws scored on an error in the bottom of the first to narrow Astoria's lead to 2-1. The Fishermen scored one more run in the top of the second and took a 3-1 lead.

At that point, Sisters went on a scoring spree and never looked back.

The Outlaws racked up 12 runs in the bottom of the second, went up 13-3 and completely took the wind out of Astoria's sails. Ben Larson, Dillon Witt and Nicky Blumm all singled to load the bases with no outs. Justin Harrer followed with an RBI single. Ryan Pollard and Dillon Witt also had RBI singles in the inning, and Ben Larson had a base hit that scored two. All other runs in the inning came on walks.

The third inning was highlighted by Harrer's RBI double, a line drive that went all the way to the wall.

Sisters tacked on two runs in the fourth and a final run in the fifth.

Joey Morgan pitched five innings for the Outlaws and earned the win. Weems pitched the sixth and Blumm finished out the seventh.

Hodges said, "Astoria has won five state championships in the last seven years and anytime you beat a program with that kind of success it's nice."

Hodges noted Ben Larson, Joey Morgan, and Justin Harrer for their performances at the plate.

"Ben, who hits No. 8 for us, really got the rally going in the second," said Hodges. "Ben, Joey, and Justin were all standout hitters for us. They had an opportunity to make a big impact on the game and they did. It was really great to see."

Larson was three-for-four with three RBI, Morgan was two-for-two with three RBI, and Harrer was two-for-four with two RBI and a double.

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