West Linn baseball starts fast in playoffs, beats North Medford 9-0
The dream is alive for the West Linn baseball team.
The Lions, hosting North Medford in the first round of the Class 6A state playoffs on Monday, started fast, got a dynamite pitching performance from Joey Campbell and rolled to an impressive 9-0 win at West Linn High School.
"Joey Campbell was lights out on the mound," said West Linn coach Joe Monahan.
With the win, West Linn's third straight and its seventh in the past eight games, the eighth-ranked Lions improved to 20-8 overall and advanced to the second round of the playoffs. West Linn, the Three Rivers League co-champion, will host No. 9 Gresham (18-10 overall after a third-place finish in the Mt. Hood Conference) at 5 p.m. Wednesday.
No. 25 North Medford ended its season at 13-13 after previously finishing fourth in the Southwest Conference.
In Monday's win, the Lions started fast in the first inning when James Marshall walked, took second on a passed ball, stole third and scored on a two-out RBI double by J.J. Hoover.
West Linn made it 3-0 in the bottom of the second when Griff Banta led off with a single, stole second, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on Zach Anderson's hit up the middle. Then, after a Drew Vannaman bunt, Jonathan Kelly singled to right to plate Anderson for that 3-0 edge.
That was more than enough for Campbell, who took a no-hitter into the fifth before the Black Tornado finally notched its first hit on a perfect drag bunt. Undaunted, Campbell quickly erased the runner by picking him off first, then retired the next two batters.
Campbell exited after five shutout innings, only giving up the one hit. Caleb Franzen came on in relief to throw two shutout innings without giving up a hit.
The Lions' bats then erupted in the bottom of the fifth, plating four runners in the inning to make it 7-0. Hoover had a two-out double to start things, and after an intentional walk to Garrett Marioni, Zach Bell made them pay with an RBI single to right. Banta drew a walk to load the bases and Anderson tripled to right to drive in three more.
The Lions added two more runs in the sixth inning on a towering two-run homer by Hoover, who ended up 3 for 4 with a pair of doubles and 3 RBIs. Anderson was 2 for 3 with 4 RBIs.