Sandy reaches summer baseball finale
OIBA playoffs ... first round
MILWAUKIE — The Sandy High Giants put together three wins in a row to make the finals of the OIBA summer baseball playoffs last weekend.
"We started off the summer kinda slow, but we are hitting our stride at the right time," Sandy coach Jordyn Van Atta said.
The Sandy squad opened with a dominating 19-7 win over Scappoose, breaking the game open with a 9-run surge in the seventh inning.
The game was already out of hand when Christian Olmos came up with the clutch hit of the day in the seventh. Parents had bantered back-and-forth promising a post-game trip to Dairy Queen in exchange for hits. After going hitless in his first three tries, Olmos stepped in and delivered a two-run single that had the parents in the bleachers shouting excitedly 'That's a Blizzard.'
The hit also put Sandy up 15-7 and started the seventh-inning snowball.
Clayton Rife put an infield single into play that was mishandled by the defense, allowing another run to cross, and Quinnton Riley launched a two-run double over the left fielder's head to complete the scoring spree.
"We've been hitting the ball hard all summer, but today we started to see the ball land," Van Atta said. "Once one guy got going, everyone started rolling."
Sandy looked to make quick work of the game after putting up five runs in its first at-bats.
Riley sent a two-run double into the left-field gap, while Josh Paugh and Casey Allsop came up with back-to-back line drives to center field.
Scappoose rallied with five runs of its own in the third inning to knot the score, but Sandy responded immediately in the fourth with Bohdi Roach whipping an RBI-double that touched down just inside the left-field chalk.
Sandy would push runs across in each of the last four innings to pull away on the scoreboard.
Roach came up big again in the fifth inning with a two-run fly ball to right field.
Sandy's defense came up with its share of big plays with starting pitcher Paugh striking out the last batter looking in the third inning to strand the go-ahead run at second base.
Sandy stopped another run in the fourth when they trapped a base runner in a rundown between first and second base. Sandy's Rife tagged the runner on the back for the third out before Scappoose's lead runner could make it across home plate.
In the fifth, Scappoose put together a two-out rally that loaded the bases, but came up empty when Rife collected a ground ball at shortstop.
Sandy went on to beat Lowrie Division regular-season champ Hillsboro 8-4 in Friday's quarterfinals, then knocked off Mount Hood Conference foe Clackamas 9-2 in Saturday's semifinals.
The team's run came to a close in the title game — a 9-4 loss to Lakeridge.
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This story is slated for our July 31, print edition.
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