Baseball is played in a wide range of climates in Oregon. Hot, cold and rainy for sure. Even hail at times. But May 8 at Kennedy High in Mount Angel it was the wind that challenged the host Trojans and St. Paul as they met in a showdown series in Class 2A-1A’s Special District 2.
Both teams came in undefeated, both overall and in league, with the defending 2A-1A champion Trojans ranked No. 1 in the state and the Buckaroos fifth.
There were some slightly threatening clouds that never dropped any moisture, and the temperature was a relatively pleasant 55 degrees. But the wind howled like a banshee out of left field, ripping caps off of spectators, blowing over folding chairs, causing popups and fly balls to change direction and infield grounders to take weird zigs and zags and then heading roughly north to terrorize Woodburn.
Clearly, having the wind behind them helped lanky left-handed starters Ethan Kleinschmit of JFK and Warren Rose of the Buckaroos, although Kleinschmit was a bit noncommittal about just how much help he got.
The scoreboard showed the Trojans on top just 1-0 heading to the bottom of the fifth, Kennedy scoring in the third when leadoff hitter Luke Beyer came across on the back end of a double steal. Kleinschmit was working on a two-hitter and had 15 strikeouts (that’s all 15 outs by the way). Rose was working on a two-hitter with five strikeouts, but coach Dwayne Newlin went to his bullpen to preserve Rose for games 2 and 3 in the series which occurred after Our Town’s presstime.
Kennedy pounced in the bottom of the fifth against a pair of St. Paul relievers, scoring nine times to invoke the ten-run rule. Yes, there were two big hits, a two-run double that Andrew Cuff smoked down the left field line and a towering game-ending three-run triple to right by Kleinschmit. But in between Kennedy played its classic pressure offense. The veteran lineup of eight seniors and one junior sent out by coach Kevin Moffatt kept putting the ball in play, stealing bases, taking the extra base and forcing the defense to keep making plays. St. Paul made two errors in the inning and also committed a balk and a wild pitch.
OSAA Baseball: It’s still not clear where the OSAA will stage the baseball championship games this year. All of the games will be on Saturday, June 3. The previous approach of playing 3A and 2A-1A on Friday has been scrapped because of pitch count dynamics. It was more difficult to have enough arms ready on Friday given the semifinals were on Tuesday. The OSAA is considering Volcanoes Stadium, Joe Etzel Field at the University of Portland, PK Park in Eugene and Goss Stadium in Corvallis. The availability of the college parks might be affected by NCAA regionals.
Softball: Kennedy, 14-2 overall, 13-0 in Special District 2 and No. 4 in Class 2A-1A, also has a showdown series, with the Trojans facing Blanchet Catholic (14-1, 14-0 and ranked third) in games May 13 in Mount Angel and May 16 in Salem.
Basketball: Silverton’s Kyleigh Brown finished a star-studded junior season by being named to the Class 5A all-state team. Brown, who led the Foxes to a 22-6 record and a fourth-place finish at the Class 5A tourney, previously had been selected Mid-Willamette Conference player of the year and an all-tournament selection at state. Joining Brown on the first team were Gabby Bland (Crescent Valley), Danaeja Romero-Ah Sam (Springfield), Ella Wedin (La Salle) and Sage Winslow (Crater).
Track & Field: Silverton won both the boys and girls competitions at the Garden City Invitational, which the Foxes hosted May 5 at McGinnis Field. Leading the way for the Foxes boys were Joel Rush, who set a seasonal best in the pole vault with a clearance of 14-0; Quinton Powell, who outlasted Wyatt Sparks of South Albany by 0.25 seconds in the 1,500 in a six-second personal best 4:16.70; and Steeley Mucken (long jump winner) and Josef Dettwyler (high jump winner).
For the girls, sophomore Brooklyn Pfeifer set a personal best of 4-10 in winning the high jump, while teammate Madison Stackpole won the shot put and discus and Lauren Ortega triumphed in the long jump.
Kennedy, meanwhile, has two athletes listed in the top 6 in Class 2A. Tia Allen is fourth in the girls discus with a throw of 120-6 and Jeremiah Traeger is sixth in the boys 100 hurdles at 17.19. Other Trojans in the top 10 statewide include Johnathan Kintz (seventh in the boys 3,000), Elijah Traeger (eighth in the boys javelin), Amber Handran (ninth in the girls 100 hurdles), Yulissa Chavez Cortes (tenth in the girls 3,000) and the team’s 4×100 relay and 4×400 girls relays, which are ranked ninth and tenth, respectively.
Speech & Debate: Silverton sent three participants to the OSAA speech/debate competition April 27-29 at Western Oregon University in Monmouth. Competing for the Foxes were Jaron Wentworth in After Dinner Speaking, Mia-Claire Mykisen in Original Oratory and Trillian Hawley in Radio Commentary.
Gymnastics: The Silverton Gymnastics Academy turned in a series of standout performances in state and regional competition. The regionals, held April 21-23 in Everett, Washington, included athletes from Oregon, Alaska, Hawaii, Montana, Washington and Idaho.
The local club produced four regional champions: Addie Gerasimenko (Xcel Diamond vault), Carly Farrell, (Xcel Platinum floor), Neeve Gigena (Xcel Gold floor) and Danika Lashley (Xcel Gold bars).
25 Silverton Gymnastics athletes went to regionals and all finished in the top 10 in at least one event, said coach Celia Storey. Those in the top 3, in addition to the regional champions, were Haley Lahman (Xcel Diamond second in beam, third in vault and third in all-around); Jenica Gerasimenko (Xcel Diamond third in beam, second in all-around); Addie Gerasimenko (Xcel Diamond third in all-around); Ella Storey (Xcel Diamond third in beam, third in floor); Cypress Wood (Xcel Gold 2nd in beam); London Bielemeier (Xcel Gold second in beam); and Neeva Gigena (Xcel Gold second in beam, third in all-around).
Earlier, the club participated in the state meet April 1-2 in Springfield. Silverton finished as state champions in Xcel Bronze, Xcel Silver, Xcel Gold and Xcel Platinum and took second in Xcel Diamond.
Individually, the team produced 39 first-place finishes and all-around titles by Riley Hess, Malia Bunnell and Charlotte Davis in (Xcel Silver), Aubrey Vashchenko, Neeva Gigena and Danika Lasley (Xcel Gold) and Addie Gerasimenko and Jenica Gerrasimenko (Xcel Diamond).