Clackamas takes out Roseburg 6-2, advances to 6A baseball semifinals
Only four teams left and look who's still standing – the Clackamas Cavaliers.
Clackamas Grant Schoen went 2 for 3 with a two-run homer, a single, two stolen bases, and three runs scored, leading the Cavaliers to a 6-2 home win over Roseburg in Friday's OSAA Class 6A baseball quarterfinals.
Jackson Jaha added three hits and Brody Upton had two to help send the Cavaliers (23-7) into Tuesday's semifinals against Mt. Hood Conference rival Central Catholic, a 6-3 winner Friday over Lakeridge.
Clackamas starter Kaiden Miller pitched into the seventh inning, scattering five hits with two walks and five strikeouts before Schoen took over on the mound with runners at first and second and none out.
Roseburg's Spencer Six swung at the first pitch he saw from Schoen and grounded into a 5-4-3 double play, and then Caden Johnson grounded the ball back to Schoen, who threw to first for the game's final out.
The Cavaliers in the semifinals for the seventh time in 12 seasons and looking to return to the championship final for the third season a row. They won 5-1 over West Linn to claim the 2017 title and then lost 8-4 to Westview in last season's championship game.
"It's exciting, of course, but the semifinals isn't the end of the road," Schoen said. "We want to go three years in a row and win the whole thing.
"Last year left a salty taste in our mouths, so nobody is really content with just going to the semis. We want to go all the way."
Clackamas left a runner in scoring position in each of the first two innings against Roseburg starter Garrett Seimet, but then broke through in the third inning for three runs on three hits — all after there were two outs in the inning.
Schoen drew a walk leading off the third, stole second base with one out, and advanced to third base on a groundout. Nathan Vaughn then sent a 0-1 pitch from Seimet into center field to drive in the game's first run.
"I kind of had a feeling he was going to throw a fastball," Vaughn said. "I got my foot down, had it timed just right, and got a base hit up the middle."
Jackson Jaha followed with a single to the gap in left-center field that scored Vaughn from first base, and the Nick Vaughn added a doubles to the gap in right-center that brought Jaha home to make it 3-0.
"That definitely gave us the momentum for the rest of the game," Nathan Vaughn said. "I think after that, we all we poised and ready to go."
The Cavaliers added two more runs in the fourth when Jeffrey Nelson led off with a bunt single and Schoen drove a 3-2 pitch over the fence in left field for a two-run homer that make it 5-0.
"I really wasn't trying to do anything with that pitch," Schoen said. "I was trying to put a barrel on it and it ended up going over the fence. It was a fastball up and away, so that's kind of why the ball jumped off the bat, really. And the wind helped."
Miller, the Cavaliers' sophomore right-hander, carried a one-hit shutout into the fifth when Roseburg's Jonathan Stone crushed a solo homer to left. Jace Stoffal then singled and came around to score on Doran Gillespie's two-out single to make it 5-2, but the Indians left the bases loaded when Miller retired Zack Mandera on an inning-ending groundout to third.
Clackamas picked up another run in the sixth when Schoen singled with one out, advanced to third on Brody Upton's single, and scored on Alex Claxton's sacrifice bunt to give the Cavaliers' a 6-2 lead.
In the seventh, Roseburg's Mason Littlefield led off with a single and Luke Van Norman drew a walk from Miller, who then turned the ball over to Schoen to get the final three outs.
"I don't like the result, but it was a good ball game between a couple of pretty good clubs," Roseburg coach Troy Thompson said. "I thought the Clackamas pitcher threw really well. He mixed his pitches well, kept us off balance, and worked himself out of a couple of tough spots."
Miller threw a total of 98 pitches, including 64 for strikes, and said the strategy was to pitch "backward" to the Indians, throwing more curveballs, sliders, and other pitches to set up his fastball rather than the way around.
He also gave a shout out to Cavaliers assistants Todd Lane and Ryan Kline for scouting the Sprague-Roseburg playoff game in Roseburg and helping to come up with Friday's game plan.
Whatever was in that scouting report must have been close to spot on, considering the top five batters in the Indians' lineup went a combined 1 for 15 with one walk and two strikeouts.
"Offensively, if we come up with another run or two, it's a different game," Thompson said. "But I was proud of the way we competed today.
"I thought we had a great year, making it to this point and having the opportunity to come to Clackamas and play what is, in my opinion, the premier program in Oregon. Coach (John) Arntson and his staff do a fantastic job year after year and their kids play extremely well, especially this time of year.
"They've been there a lot of time and they showed today why they continue to do that. Unfortunately for us, it didn't work out the way we wanted. We would have loved the opportunity to play on Tuesday."