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Wilsonville Broadcast Network

The Student News Site of Wilsonville High School

Wilsonville Broadcast Network

The Student News Site of Wilsonville High School

Wilsonville Broadcast Network

Wilsonville baseball loses first league series of season, looks to bounce back against league rival La Salle

Wilsonville fell in the first couple matchups to Canby before avoiding the sweep and winning the third game. The Wildcats look to bounce back against arguably their biggest rival the La Salle Falcons.
GM Artman
Luke Haener pitches in a game last year vs North Eugene. Haener was a big reason why Wilsonville was able to avoid a sweep at the hands of the Canby Cougars. Photo provided by Greg Artman.

The Wildcats’ non-conference schedule this season was tough. However, over the first couple of months of the season, they have shown that they can compete and beat some of the best teams across the state, no matter the level.

For example, Wilsonville took on the South Salem Saxons and had a four-run lead at one point before falling by a score of 4-5. South Salem currently is the #2 ranked 6A team.

Wilsonville also lost to the hands of the Sprague Olympians 1-3. At the moment, Sprague is the #1 team in 6A, has yet to lose a contest, and has a run differential of +123. Needless to say, Sprague has been dominant this year, and Wilsonville has given them their toughest test of the season.

The only other loss Wilsonville had tallied before league play began was a 4-6 matchup against West Albany. The Bulldogs, who lost in the state championship last year, survived a late comeback by Wilsonville that fell just short.

Some of Wilsonville’s notable victories include an 11-1 drubbing of those aforementioned Bulldogs, a 10-3 win over Summit, which is ranked #8 in 5A, and a 6-2 win over Ridgeview, which is ranked #5 in 5A.

The point is that Wilsonville has shown in the past that they are formidable opponents who should be feared across the state. That’s why the result of the opening league series against Canby was such a shock.

The first game of the series took place on Tuesday, the 9th. Joe Scott shoved, throwing 5.2 innings of shutout baseball before handing the ball to Freshman Jack Brauckmiller. Brauckmiller found himself in some hot water in the 7th inning but closed the door before Wilsonville could complete the comeback, and Canby took game one of the three-game series 4-2.

In game 2 both offenses exploded but Wilsonville couldn’t make enough plays in the field and lost 14-10. Though seeing such a performance from the lineup was promising, the end result was a frustrating pill to swallow.

Heading into game 3 Canby looked to sweep the Wildcats and due to the victories at the beginning of the series had moved into the #1 spot in the 5A rankings. Meanwhile, Wilsonville was just trying to salvage the opening series of league play and get their first league win of the year.

With the teams tied at three going into the bottom of the 6th inning, both teams were tied at 3 before Wilsonville was able to push across a massive run in the bottom of the frame to take a one-run lead heading into the final inning. Mark Wiepert was able to give up just one run after loading the bases with no outs and did a good job overall navigating a dire situation, and the bottom of the 7th started with again these NWOC foes tied, but this time at four a piece.

Wilsonville got a couple of baserunners on in the 7th before Joe Scott, who had been bullying the Wildcats all series both on the mound and at the plate, relented by making a throwing error and allowing the winning run to score for a final of 5-4.

Luke Haener spoke on how it felt to defeat Canby in the last game of the series: “It felt good to come back and get a win after a couple of tough losses. We played really well as a team, and we need to keep this up for the rest of the year.”

Wilsonville now has an 8-5 overall record and a 1-2 league record as it heads into what is probably the second-biggest league series (behind Canby) already. Wilsonville is ranked #3 in 5A and looks to bounce back against another rival, La Salle.

These two teams squared off three times in the regular season last year, with Wilsonville taking 2/3 from the Falcons in that series.

Luke Larson talked about what Wilsonville wants to do heading into another big series for Wilsonville as they take on La Salle: “We just need to play our game. When we play our best and play together, we can compete with anyone in the state; we need to keep competing and strong and good at-bats together.”

With the expectations so high for this Wilsonville team, look for them to bounce back over this next series and in the league schedule in general, especially in the NWOC. This league is not necessarily known for its baseball powerhouses and currently has 7 of the 9 conference members in the back half of the 5A rankings.

Wilsonville and La Salle will play Monday and Friday at Wilsonville, and La Salle will host a Wednesday game.