Sunset goes 11 innings with Crimson Tide

Call it being snakebit.

They might have luckless or jinxed. One of the Sunset's (Platt Electric) players might have petted a black cat before their first round OIBA playoff game against Glencoe at Tigard High on Tuesday.

Plain and simple, it just wasn't the Apollos' day. Sunset lined into three double plays. They left five men in scoring position. Sunset was also victimized by an inside-the-park home run that bounced around Tigard's cavernous stadium and allowed Glencoe to go up 2-1 in the second inning.

After clawing back into the game in the bottom of the seventh and bringing the tying run across to extend the game to extra innings, Sunset continued to trade blows with Glencoe for four more frames before eventually dropping a 4-2 decision.

“It was a wild game, I've never seen anything like it,” said designated hitter Kasey Porter. “They made some big plays to get them out of a couple innings. It was a crazy game, the wildest one I've ever been apart of.” by: TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Platt Electric pitcher Kyle Daniel threw seven quality innings against Glencoe.

Glencoe's pitcher caught an Apollo bunt attempt with a diving snag and the Crimson Tide's first baseman made two unassisted double plays with snares off Sunset's bats. Sunset looked jinxed at times, succumbing to the cruelties of baseball. They put themselves in position to be successful but were outdone by plays they couldn't control.

“We didn't get the hits at the right time to bring guys in,” said Angel Manzanares. “It was fun game though. You need good concentration to stay in the game and stay focused. We were a little unlucky but we stayed in it the whole time. I think we need more aggression with the first-pitch strike and get ready to hit at the plate.”

The defeat definitely wasn't due to a lack of effort or heart. Down to their last strike of the summer in the seventh, Grant Galligan battled to the bitter end to draw a walk with two outs. Dom Black kept Sunset breathing with a single and Justin Silvey put the tying run on third base by extracting a TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Platt Electric third baseman Scott Wright fires across the diamond for an out.

Kasey Porter-the Apollos' third place hitter and senior leader- came through in the clutch, slapping a single the opposite way that bounced in front of Glencoe's rightfielder and scored Galligan to bring the tally to 2-2. Sunset swerved away from failure by carrying on the fight, but in the 11th Glencoe plated the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly and piled on one more with an RBI triple.

In the bottom of the 11th with two outs, Galligan put a charge into a fastball and nearly pushed it over the rightfield fence. However, the ball ran of out power on the warning track and nestled into the glove of the Crimson Tide's rightfielder for the final out. Porter and Chad Maheu both had base hits and Black added two of his knocks.

Yet, that's all Sunset could supply their pitchers Kyle Daniel and Brandon Davies both of whom were brilliant on the bump.

“We fought hard, we just couldn't get the hits in the key spots,” said third baseman Scott Wright. “We just need to work on putting the ball in play more and get more base hits. We gave it our best effort, just didn't get the big hits.”

Daniel and Davies both pitched on JV last year but both demonstrated their stuff this summer on the mound and proved themselves as varsity players. Daniel-a junior next season-pitched seven quality innings, striking out three and walking two before handing the ball to Davies in the eighth.

“Kyle got ahead in the count, used his curveball well,” said Porter. “He doesn't have that much velocity so he has to use his off-speed stuff. He gets a lot of ground balls and pop-ups so if we can make the plays behind him, he gives us a chance.”Platt Electric outfielder Dom Black slaps at a fastball during the Apollos tough loss to Glencoe.

Porter said he was “surprised” with how well Sunset competed this summer, stating he was unsure of the Apollos' prognostication in early June. Young players like Wright, Silvy, and Gilligan stepped in and up when their numbers were called and flanked the veterans commendably. by: TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Platt Electric pitcher Kyle Daniel threw seven quality innings against Glencoe.

“It was a great experience,” said Wright. “The older guys helped us out, telling us things to remember throughout the summer. It helped us get ready for next season. Our pitching and defense, we just need to bring the bats. That'll be our key to winning.”

Added Manzanares: “I feel like it's better experience so we're ready for varsity when we're older. There's more bonding so there's more chemistry on the field to help us get through the season.”

Next year Jesuit is expected to be as strong but the rest of the Metro League figures to be a crapshoot. Southridge and Westview are retooling. Beaverton is young and Aloha is trying to right the ship TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Platte Electric shorstop Jake Neeson and outfielder Dom Black come together for a flyball against Glencoe.

This summer Sunset revealed enough youthful talent and veteran savvy with the likes of Porter and Jake Neeson to legitimatize their chances for a top-three Metro seed. Maheu is a solid contact hitter at first and a rising senior Wright and Silvy solidified the infield at third and second, respectively. Both were all over the place on Tuesday making rally-killing plays with old hand acumen.

A lot can change in the next six months before the start of spring but the Apollos give the impression of being on the upswing.

“The young guys came to play and proved that they mean business,” said Porter. “It gives us something to look forward to. We had a bad spring last year even though we had a good summer before that. As long as we stick to what we're doing right now we'll be alright, hang around and give some competition in the Metro League next year.”

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