The Gophers get their first conference victory thanks to the right arm of Evan Olson.

GRESHAM OUTLOOK: MATT RAWLINGS - Gresham pitcher Evan Olson stifled the Reynolds bats in the Gophers victory on Friday night.

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SANDY — Gresham victory's against Reynolds on Friday night was called "a total team win," by head coach Ryan Miller. But the performance of Evan Olson on the mound may have been the biggest factor in the Gophers success.

The big right-hander threw a complete-game shutout and fanned 14 Reynolds hitters as Gresham took down the Raiders by a score of 5-0, gaining their first conference victory of the season.

"Evan has been fantastic for us and he brought it again tonight," Miller said. "We weren't really sure about our pitching depth earlier in the season, but he has definitely solidified his spot in the rotation. He has been working really hard and he is a smart kid who is good at making adjustments."

The majority of the contest was a pitcher's dual between Wood and Reynolds sophomore Ian Manson. Gresham got a run in the bottom of the second inning when Trevor Bless reached on an error, which scored Luke Melton from third. But both pitchers were able to keep guys pretty off-balanced as the game wore on.

"Ian is a great competitor. He just gets up there and throws strikes," Reynolds head coach Kyle Swoboda said. "He doesn't let things bother him and he showed that tonight."

Gresham had a threat brewing in the bottom of the fourth inning with runners on first and second and two outs with leadoff hitter Ezra Samperi coming to the plate.

After working the count, Samperi lined a scorching ground ball to the right side that looked like it surely be a hit. But Reynolds second baseman Josh Humphreys made an unbelievable diving play to his right, then fired a strike to first baseman Joe Dodson to get Samperi by a half-step as Mason was able to elude any damage.

Reynolds would have a threat of their own going in the top of the fifth, but Gresham would also get a fantastic defensive play from their infield to keep the Raiders off the board.

With men on first and second and one out, Tomoya Sato hit a shot down the third base line that would have possibly scored two. But Gresham third baseman Ethan Meckel laid out with a full-extended dive to his left to make the stop. Meckel had the presence of mind to quickly get up and touch third base for the force out, and then threw a missile over the first for the double play, which fired up his teammates.

"To be honest, I didn't think I was getting to that ball," Meckel said. "That play gave us a lot of momentum when we got back to the dugout."

Look for extended coverage in the April 10 print edition.

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