Culver baseball gets a second chance
The Culver Bulldogs baseball team has a second chance in the playoffs. The playoffs were finalize Saturday night (May 19) and Culver will play Kennedy High School, at Mount Angel. The game will be on Wednesday, May 23, at 5 p.m.
This is the first time the Culver Bulldogs have made the state playoffs in 17 years. The last time the Bulldogs made the state playoffs was in 2001.
Before the playoffs were finalized, the Bulldogs were listed in the top 15 RPI (Rating Percentage Index) 2A rankings. Culver currently sits at No. 11 in OSAA and Colley rankings, and No. 15 in the RPI ranking.
To stay prepared, the Bulldogs have been practicing all week and played Crook County May 16. The Bulldogs lost 5-4 to the Cowboys in a close, hard fought game.
Cole Little and Cord Gomez pitched for Culver. The two combined recorded four strikeouts in seven innings of play.
In the first inning, Crook County batter Heath Pickhardt hit a triple. He was hit home by a Devin Wilson sacrifice fly, giving the Cowboys a 1-0 lead.
Culver did not get things started until the second inning, when they scored three runs. Cole little hit a single to left field and Jordan Bender made it to first on a Cowboy error. Jamal Ortiz stepped to plate and hit a single to load the bases for Cord Gomes, who hit a ground ball to second. The second basemen overthrew to the first baseman, allowing two Bulldog runs to score.
Freshman Anthony Hood laid down a sacrifice bunt, scoring Ortiz and giving Culver a 3-1 lead.
In the top of the sixth inning, Culver batter Cylus Hoke hit a ball to deep left field for a double. Gomes hit a ball down the left field line for a double, scoring Hoke. The Bulldogs took a 4-1 lead entering the bottom of the sixth.
Clayton Wilkins, of Crook County, started things off with a single to right field for the Cowboys. Ethan Cossett and Payton Faust were both walked, loading the bases. Pickhardt was hit by a pitch, scoring a first run for the Cowboys.
Devin Wilson stepped into the batter's box and had a hit to left field, scoring two runs and Brody Connell singled to right, for the fourth run of the inning. The Cowboys took a 5-4 lead at the end of the sixth inning.
The Bulldogs couldn't secure a comeback, losing to Crook County in a preparation game.
Hoke and Gomes both hit doubles for Culver and Anderson, Cole Little, Ortiz and Hood each recorded a hit.
"I thought our kids played well," said coach Shea Little, before the playoff game was announced. "We are kind of in a tough spot, because we are not sure that we are in and we have to keep everybody motivated. I think we are probably 90 percent in. The team didn't have a lot of errors and we hit the ball well, especially our first group in the first four innings."
"It was fun, no pressure, so we were just playing our game," said Cord Gomes. "I feel like there wasn't too many errors. This game will boost our confidence going in and we will be ready to play. It's kind of, I don't know how to explain it, it's not up to us; we are just hoping that some teams play good and others play bad so that we are in."
Cole Little and junior Tadd Anderson earned All League First Team West for the 2018 Special District 6.
Little earned first team pitcher and Anderson first team infield.
Weston Basl (senior), Joe Russo (junior) and Justyce Loredo (sophomore) all earned honorable mentions for the Bulldogs.