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The No. 1-seeded Braves fall victim to missed opportunities in their state quarterfinal loss to the Warriors.

PMG PHOTO: WADE EVANSON - Banks' Charlie White hits what would be one of two homeruns in the Braves' second round playoff win over Madras. Banks fell to Philomath 2-1 in the state quarterfinals Friday, May 27, at Banks High School.There are no easy losses in the playoffs, but his one really hurt.

Colton Hesselman allowed just six hits in seven innings of work while striking out 11 and walking none, but Philomath was able to scratch across two runs in the fourth inning and Banks failed to fully capitalize on opportunities throughout in a 2-1 state quarterfinal loss to the Warriors Friday, May 27, at Banks High School.

"When you have runners in scoring position with less than two outs, you need to be able to capitalize," Banks head coach Joe Baumgartner said. "We had good opportunities in the second and fourth innings and just didn't come through. Philomath also made some outstanding defensive plays on balls hit deep in the gaps."

The game was scoreless until the pivotal fourth when the Warriors used two singles and a double, along with a timely stolen base to scratch across their only two runs to take a 2-0 lead.

After stranding a runner at third with one out in the second, the Braves again threatened in the fourth when sophomore Ashton Crossen singled, stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch, then a Justin Walters' walk put runners on first and third with one out. But Crossen was thrown out trying to score on an attempted double steal, and a strike out shortly followed, ending Banks' second threat in the past three innings.

The Braves did manage to scratch a run across in the fifth on a two-out Charlie White RBI-single to cut the lead to 2-1, and put two runners on with one out in the sixth, but failed to plate the run necessary to tie or win the game, ending what was an otherwise great Banks season.

Baumgartner said the loss was unfortunate for a number of reasons but spoke specifically to Hesselman's performance on the mound being worthy of a better outcome.

"Colton pitched an awesome game and deserved the victory. They really should have only scored one run as we really threw the winning runner out at 2nd base on a stolen base attempt. The Philomath runner made an excellent slide."

The loss marked the end of the Banks careers for seniors Hesselman, White and Cole Donnelly.

White batted .444 with six homeruns and 26 RBI, while going 7-0 and allowing just five runs this season on the mound. The three-sport standout will be playing football at Portland State in the fall, and Baumgartner said he (White) will be an awfully big void to fill next season while at the same time applauding both White and Hesselman for their work on and off the field with this year's team.

"Charlie culminated his amazing athletic career at Banks HS with an amazing baseball season, and more importantly was our unquestioned leader and a fierce competitor, one that will be hard to replace in all our sports," the coach said. "Both him and Colton were amazing 2-way players."

Despite all but the three seniors returning next year, Baumgartner said it was too early and the wound was still too fresh to speak to next year's prospects, but was steadfast in his praise for this year's Braves and what they were able to accomplish.

"This was a great mix of kids from all grades and we definitely developed a very tight and positive chemistry," he said. "Our team relied on excellent pitching and really good defense. and just played pretty consistently all year. We played 25 games and gave up only 39 runs and committed only 26 errors all season. That is simply remarkable."


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