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North Marion, Mount Angel teams place third overall, Woodburn bows out early on Friday

PHIL HAWKINS - The Woodburn Junior American team rallies between innings in the Bulldogs' 2-1 loss to Westview on Friday that eliminated the team from the 2018 State Championship tournament.
As if it were fated to be, the July heat wave evaporated for the weekend just in time for the Junior Baseball Organization State Championship tournaments held throughout the Willamette Valley on Thursday through Sunday.

Baseball teams from Woodburn, North Marion and Mount Angel represented their communities in a variety of brackets after qualifying for the state tournament from the county tournament earlier in the month.

Woodburn Junior American

The Woodburn Bulldogs went home early after being eliminated in the opening two games of the state tournament.

Woodburn fell in its first games Thursday morning in Oregon City, going down 11-3 to the eventual state champion team from Sherwood.

In Friday's elimination game against Westview, the Bulldogs took a 1-0 lead in the opening inning when second baseman Cruz Veliz got caught in a pickle between third base and home.

After Westview attempted to pick him off at third base, Veliz made a break for home, beating the wild throw to give Woodburn an early advantage.

Bulldog starting pitcher Aaron Cruz held Westview scoreless for the first four innings of play, but the Wildcats were able to tie it up in the fifth and scored the winning run in the bottom of the sixth to make it a 2-1 final.

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North Marion junior American

The Huskies earned a first-round bye in the Junior American State Tournament in Oregon City after winning the Clackamas County tournament the week before.

But North Marion was caught by surprise by Sherwood 6-4 on Thursday, dropping the Huskies to the consolation bracket.

There, North Marion clawed its way back, starting Friday morning with an 8-7 win over Cleveland to stave off elimination, followed by a 7-5 win over Philomath in the afternoon to advance to Saturday.

The Huskies added their third win of the tournament over Gladstone, beating the Gladiators 7-4 to move on to the consolation quarterfinals, where they beat McNary 13-2.

The Huskies moved on to the consolation semifinal on Sunday to play for a berth in the state championship, but their streak ended in a 5-3 loss to McMinville, and North Marion finished the tournament with a 4-2 record to place third overall.

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North Marion Senior American

The Huskies opened the Senior American State tournament at Brown Middle School Hillsboro.

North Marion dropped its first game 6-0 to Yamhill-Carlton, but bounced back the next morning with a massive 17-3 win over Sweet Home to move on to the second round of the consolation bracket.

But that's as far as the Huskies would go, as the team dropped a 13-11 contest to Mount Angel Friday evening to wrap up their state tournament experience.

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Mount Angel Senior American

After splitting their first two games of the Senior American Tournament, the Trojans tore through the consolation side of the bracket to advance to the semifinals, finishing third overall in the final standings.

Mount Angel opened Thursday's tournament with a 14-2 win over Pioneer before falling 9-6 to Banks in the second round to drop down to the consolation bracket on Friday.

The Trojans responded with a commanding 24-3 win over Sherwood, followed by a 13-11 victory against North Marion to move on to the third round of competition on Saturday.

The streak continued, as Mount Angel scored an 11-6 win over Tualatin and added a 3-2 victory over Yamhill-Carlton in the evening to move on to the consolation semifinal on Sunday morning.

But the Trojans were facing a familiar opponent on the other side of the bracket — the same Banks team they lost to the day before.

It was the same outcome the second time around, with the Braves winning 16-6 to eliminate the Trojans.

Following the tournament, Mount Angel was honored with the Sportsmanship Award to go along with its third place trophy.

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