The No. 17 Indians trailed 5-4 through four innings of their Class 4A state play-in game on Thursday, May 18, at Frank Wade Field in Newport, but the 11th-ranked Cubs, despite Logan Travis' two runs batted in and a score, got the better of Scappoose for three sixth-inning runs to seal an 8-4 win.
Hunter Holmason landed an RBI and came home once for the Tribe (13-11 overall), Quinn Searle batted a runner across and Jerad Toman kept the Tribe close, but seniors Sam Imbler-Bremner, Clark Boys and Cody Riley launched a respective home run for the Cubs (17-7) to avenge their 15-9 first-round loss to the eventual state champion Indians two years ago on their very field.
"The Newport game was a fantastic high school baseball game," said Indians coach Mike Reed, who completes his first year in charge. "Both teams played exceptionally, and the intensity was that of a playoff game. It came down to one call that really turned the game around, and unfortunately we were not on the receiving end of it. We can only build on the experience of playing in front of a large crowd in a great atmosphere. I could not have asked for more from our team."
JC Gross pitched 3 1/3 innings for the Tribe for five earned runs, seven hits, a walk and struck out four, and Searle threw two innings for three earned runs, three hits and a strikeout.
Newport, the 12th seed and a winner of 10 of 12 since they beat Cascade 5-4 on April 18, that averages seven runs per game against four, will play at all-state senior catcher Keanu Aiona fifth-seeded Sweet Home (18-5) in this year's first round at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, while the Indians made their second play-in exit in a row.
Hidden Valley (21-3) owns the top seed, but second-seeded returning champion Henley (20-6) will have plenty to say about it.
Hunter Holmason led Tribe batters with a .480 average, seven doubles, three triples, three home runs, 26 RBIs and 27 runs, and Nicky Gill (.469, five doubles, six home runs, 32 RBIs and 20 scores) and Toman (.448, five doubles, two triples, a home run, 10 RBIs and 23 runs) followed.
"Having Jerad, Nicky and Carson [Witt] back is big," Reed said. "They all had fantastic seasons. Carson played a new position this year and led the team in doubles. Nicky had a massive year with 6 homeruns and 32 RBIs. Jerad was hurt for the four games prior to Newport, and we did suffer without him. He plays a huge role and will also pitch more next year."
JC Gross was the ace on the hill with a 6-2 record, 48 hits -- seven doubles and four home runs -- 17 of 29 runs earned, 14 walks, 36 strikeouts and a 2.73 ERA in 43 2/3 innings.
"We return the majority of our very young pitching staff," Reed said. "They did improve as the year went along: JC Gross went 6-3 and pitched well all year: He beat state playoff teams Banks and North Marion; he did a great job of locating pitches and changing speeds. Our two freshmen, Logan Travis and Ben Anicker, were thrown to the wolves, and both of them improved. There are great things ahead for them."
The Indians, fourth in the Cowapa League as they scored eight runs per game against seven, are scheduled to graduate outfielders Nate Rieman, Zach Knight, Jack Margheim and Hunter Holmason, Derek Badger (catcher), Jacob Mizee, Ben Teeter and Quinn Searle (infielders) in June.
"Hunter will be extremely missed for his leadership and performance," Reed said. "He had an exceptional season at the plate with 36 hits and hit .480. In addition to his offensive performance, he also threw out four runners. His best game was his last one as an Indian in Newport: He hit a 400-foot home run to left to lead off the game, lined out to short in his second appearance and bounced one over the right field fence for a double his third time. In his fourth at-bat, he was intentionally walked by Coach [Ken] Riley, as he had seen enough. He also threw a runner out at third to end the fifth inning. We have several kids coming up from the JV that will get in a lot of innings this summer in order to step in and play," Reed said. "We lost some great seniors, but I am sure that the kids can do the job."
Newport 8, Scappoose 4
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R
S 2 0 0 2 0 0 0 -- 4 8 1
N 3 0 0 2 0 3 0 -- 8 10 0