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Baseball: North Marion finishes second, awaits Mazama in play-in round

No. 9 Huskies draw upset-prone Vikings at home on Thursday

PHIL HAWKINS - The No. 9 North Marion Huskies will host the Mazama Vikings on Thursday at Bob Brack Stadium at 4:30 p.m.After wrapping up the regular season with a second place finish in the Oregon West Conference, the No. 9 North Marion baseball team now sets its sights on the post season.

The Huskies (17-7, 11-4 Oregon West) finished their last week of the spring season at home, winning two of three games to finish the season ranked inside the top 10 in the 4A OSAA rankings and earning one of the top seeds in the play-in round of the state playoffs.

North Marion opened the week with a 5-0 loss to the No.6 Philomath Warriors (16-6, 13-2) on May 8, followed by a 13-3 win against Stayton (1-20, 0-15) on May 10 and a 5-1 victory over Cascade (12-11, 8-7) on Friday for senior night.

Although the team missed out on earning one of the at-large play-in byes awarded to the top two second-place teams in the state, the Huskies' high ranking at the end of the season awarded them a home play-in match on Thursday against the Mazama Vikings, the fourth-place team coming out of the Skyline Conference.

The Vikings (12-11, 7-8 Skyline) are no stranger to stiff competition, playing in a conference that has been represented in the 4A finals in each of the past four years by the No. 2 Henley Hornets (20-5, 11-4), who won it all in 2013, 2014 and 2016. The Skyline Conference also yields the No. 1 Hidden Valley Mustangs (20-3, 13-2), which ousted the Huskies in the play-in round of last year's post season.

But unlike last year, North Marion enters this year's play-in round with a much stronger resume. North Marion has built a record of 11-3 since early April, with its only losses coming against the Oregon West champion Warriors. The Huskies' 17 wins is the most for the team since the 2014 season and the team's 89 runs allowed this season (3.71 runs per game) is the fifth-best mark among all teams in the 4A Classification.

Mazama enters Thursday's game with the team's most successful season in a decade and is looking to play the role of playoff spoiler once again. In 2014, the Vikings took down No. 6 Gladstone in the play-in round despite heading into the post season with a 10-17 season. The next year, Mazama went 9-15 in the regular season, only to once again score a play-in upset against a higher-ranked Ontario team.

If the Huskies can get past the upstart Vikings, North Marion would advance to the first round of the 4A playoffs for a May 24 road contest.

Phil Hawkins covers all things sports and Gervais. He can be reached at 503-765-1194 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..