The Corvallis Gerding Builders Marketmen opened this weekend's tournament in dramatic fashion thanks to some excellent late-game execution.
On the first night of the Mickey Riley Star Spangled Tournament, Cooper Hartsell cracked a walk-off single in the bottom of the seventh to give the Marketmen a 3-2 win over the Walla Walla Bears.
“I was just looking for a fastball, got one I liked and put a good swing on it and hoped for the best,” Hartsell said. “It gives us a lot of confidence running through the rest of the weekend.”
Hartsell stepped to the plate with no outs and the bases loaded after three straight Marketmen batters reached to start the inning. Franklin Leonard poked a leadoff single through the left side of the infield to lead things off. After that, Zander Norris relived Walla Walla starter Ben Ortiz and was tasked with facing the top of the Corvallis batting order. Caleb Beach greeted him with a perfectly deadened bunt that landed just in front of home and then he legged out the throw for another single.
Azel Bumpus followed with a nearly identical bunt and Norris bobbled the ball as he scooped it up, allowing Bumpus to reach and load the bases.
With no where else to put Hartsell, Norris was forced to throw strikes and Hartsell crushed a fastball into the left-center field gap to win the game.
“They were just doing their jobs and it worked out for our benefit,” Hartsell said of Beach and Bumpus. “All the way through our whole lineup our team produces — it’s one through nine. There isn’t just one guy who does it all for us. Knowing that, it gives us a lot of confidence.”
Brooks Stearns put the Marketmen on the board early when he cracked a double with two outs to plate Beach and give Corvallis an early 1-0 advantage in the first. But that lead was short-lived, as Josh Bergevin drilled a two-run single an inning later to make it 2-1.
Caleb Ephen scored easily on the play from third on the play for Walla Walla, but the Marketmen had a chance to hold the Bears to one run. Connor Spevacek fielded Bergevin’s hit cleanly in right and came up firing. He delivered a strong throw on one hop in plenty of time to beat Matt McKenize, the runner, but the ball skipped off the glove of Corvallis catcher Ben Leid and sailed to the backstop. That allowed McKenize to score as Bergevin cruised into second.
In the fourth inning, Corvallis answered back when Leid was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning and Logan Kummel cracked a two-out single to tie the game at 2-2.
Grant Carley worked efficiently on the mound for Corvallis and tossed a complete game without issuing a walk. He surrendered just two hits and never ran into trouble after Walla Walla’s big second inning.
“He threw a lot of strikes,” Corvallis coach Evan Hilberg said. “Just trusted his defense. Guys made play pretty much all day, so that was good. Just had a really quick pace on the mound and kept the pitch count down … It keeps you in the game.”
The Markemen take on Dr. Stewart's at 7 p.m Friday in pool play.
Beaverton 5, Mid-Coast 1
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Beaverton kicked off the tournament with a win thanks to some strong production out of the bottom of its lineup. Kellen O’Connor, batting out of the seventh spot, went 1 for 2 with two RBIs, and Tomo Horie was 2 for 2 with a pair of RBIs.
O’Connor also tossed a complete game on the mound, limiting the Dungies to six hits while striking out nine and walking just one. Mid-Coast scraped a run off of O’Connor in the first, but that was the only offense it would generate.
Beaverton took the lead in the sixth when O’Connor lined a ball to left and it was misplayed by the Mid-Coast left fielder, allowing Mike Ball and Darik Salinas to score.
In the seventh, Beaverton tacked on three more runs, two of which came on bases-loaded walks.
Dr. Stewart's 10, Eastside Cutters 3
Dr. Stewart's (Roseburg) delivered some early-tournament fireworks and threw four runs on the board in the first two innings to cruise to a win in its opening matchup.
Four different Roseburg players finished with multi-hit games and Jett Black led the way, going 3 for 3 with two RBIs and scoring twice. Doran Gillepsie finished 2 for 4 with two RBIs.
On the mound, Austin Anderson tossed six innings and struck out five while holding the Cutters to three runs on seven hits. He was relieved by Garrett Zeimet, who retried the seventh inning in order to close out the game.
For the Cutters, Mason Smith went 2 for 3 with two RBIs, and Graham Porter went 1 for 3 and drove home a run.
Dallas Dirtbags 3, Whalley Chiefs 0
The Dirtbags got a huge outing from starter Hector Amador, who tossed a complete game and allowed just five runners to reach base. Amador struck out five and surrendered one walk on 81 pitches.
Corey Treit delivered a strong start of his own for the Chiefs and tossed five innings of one-run ball, but the Dirtbags sent home the go-ahead run in the bottom of the fifth, when Ruben Cedillo scored. An inning later, Dallas tacked on a pair of insurance runs.
Kyle Mitsuyasu went 2 for 3 with an RBI for the Dirtbags and Derek Maiben was 2 for 4. Quin Hall was 1 for 2 and was one of four Chiefs batters to pick up a hit.