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Bulldog baseball team rallies, falls in climactic 5-4 loss to Outlaws to open week

PMG PHOTO: PHIL HAWKINS - Woodburn junior Jose Ortiz was 3-for-3 with a pair of doubles and two runs scored in the Bulldogs' 5-4 loss at Sisters last week.The Woodburn baseball team opened the week with one of its most exciting games of the season, rallying in the final three innings to tie the hosting Sisters Outlaws in the seventh inning of the series-opening game on April 9.

But it wasn't enough to get the job done, as the Outlaws managed to score on a game-ending single in the bottom of the inning, claiming a 5-4 victory en route to a series sweep over the Bulldogs.

It was the first in a double-header at Sisters to open the week, and the Outlaws used the momentum of the win to cruise to a 13-1 in the follow-up game, scoring eight runs in the final frame to finish the game in six innings.

The two teams closed out the week at Woodburn High School, where the Outlaws came out on top again, this time by a 10-1 margin on Friday.

The losses dropped Woodburn to 0-6 on the season against Oregon West opponents as the team continues to look for the success in league play that it showed in posting a 4-1 record against non-league opponents.

The opening game of the series against Sisters proved that the Bulldogs have what it takes to compete, despite the winless record thus far.

After struggling to convert base runners into runs through the first four innings, Woodburn finally pulled through in the top of the fifth. Facing a 2-0 deficit, the Bulldogs opened the inning with a walk from sophomore Jackson Pickett, followed by a hard single from Liua Falepapalangi that put runners on first and second.

Jackson stole third on the ensuing at-bat, which saw teammate Ethan Ing pop out to second base, but was in turn thrown out on an attempt to steal home, leaving the Bulldogs with just one runner on and two outs.

That's when the rally began.

Junior Jose Ortiz doubled on a fly ball to right field, putting him and Falepapalangi in scoring position. Fellow junior Jaden Bellman walked to load the bases, leading to a line drive double from starting pitcher Reese Miller to bring in both Ortiz and Falepapalangi and tie the game at 2-2.

Sisters got out of the inning and plated one run in each of the next two innings to go up 4-2, but the Bulldogs rallied again in the top of the seventh.

Pickett and Georgia Bustamante opened the inning with a double and a single to move into scoring position. After a strikeout from Ing, Ortiz doubled up the center to drive home Pickett, though Bustamante was thrown out at third on the play.

After a pop fly infield single from Bellman kept the inning alive, Miller brought home Ortiz on a single to center field to tie the game at 4-4.

Senior Michael Masters struck out to end the inning, and the Outlaws got to work in the bottom of the inning, putting their first two batters on base with no outs on the board.

A bunt-turned-single loaded the bases for Sisters, but the Bulldogs were able to pick off the runner at third to get their first out and relieve the pressure. It wouldn't last, though, as the Outlaws followed with a walk to load the bases and a line drive to right field to score the game-ending run.

Miller finished the game on the mound with seven strikeouts and three earned runs allowed in addition to powering the team offensively, going 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles and three RBIs. Ortiz was 3-for-3 in the loss, including two doubles of his own and two runs scored.

Woodburn was scheduled to play their series against the Stayton Eagles (3-12, 0-9) this week.

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