WILSONVILLE — Having lost their last four games, Sandy limped into the state tournament and had the difficult task of trying to defeat top-seeded Clackamas in the opening round of the OIBA Futures State Tournament. But with great pitching and timely hitting, the Pioneers proved that they belonged.
Despite not losing a league game all summer, Clackamas was overwhelmed by the underdog Sandy as the Pioneers defeated the Cavaliers 10-2 on Thursday night at Wilsonville High School.
"I just told the boys to play loose tonight. We had nothing to lose obviously...Clackamas is a good ball club, but we knew if that we threw strikes, played good defense and had some big hits in crucial situations, we would put ourselves in a position to win," Sandy coach Dave Copher said. "We kind of lost some steam towards the end of our season, but I think our kids got a little fire to them today."
The Pioneers fell behind 2-0 in the first inning after a passed ball and an error, but Sandy starting pitcher Quinnton Reilly settled in and shut down the Cavaliers for the next two innings.
"Quinnton has been our horse all season. Every time we give him the baseball, he has been good for us," Copher said. "More than anything, I wanted to keep Clackamas off-balance and not show them the same guy for all seven innings."
That strategy ended up working to perfection for the Pioneers. Dylan Jacobs replaced Reilly on the bump in the fourth inning and held Clackamas to just one hit for the remainder of the contest.
Look for the full version in the July 26 print edition.