The Bruins met their match on the Gladstone field Wednesday when their playoff ambitions ended with a 4-0 loss against the Gladstone Gladiators in the first round of the 4A State Baseball Playoffs.
The Bruins earned their spot in the playoffs last Friday, defeating the Sweet Home Huskies, 5-3, in a Play In game. Prior to that, the Bruins ended their league season with a 10-5 record at second place in the Far West League, just behind the undefeated North Bend Bulldogs. The Bruins went 19-9 overall this season to finish at rank No. 20 in the OSAA 4A rankings.
Their opponent Gladstone went nearly undefeated in the Tri-Valley Conference this year, taking first 13-1 with only a single loss against Estacada. They were rank No. 4 in the OSAA 4A rankings with an overall record of 19-8 this season.
Bruins coach Keith Wallin was thrilled with the Bruin’s performance this year, feeling the team managed to at least make most of its goals for the year despite falling short at the state level.
“The boys played their hearts out and left it all on the field,” Wallin said. “We had a tremendous season by a great group of young men who set some lofty goals and worked their tails off to reach them.”
The first inning of Wednesday’s game sealed the Bruins fate when the Gladiators scored a whopping four runs to take a big lead early on. From there neither team was able to gain any ground with not a single point scored by either for the following six innings. The game ended at 4-0 after the Bruins struck out in the top of the seventh.
The Bruins faced an intense pitching game from Gladstone senior Ben Mccoy who threw seven innings with 19 first-pitch-strikes and seven strikeouts. For the Bruins, Roman Worthey pitched five innings with six first-pitch-strikes and Adam Shew took the sixth inning with four first-pitch-strikes and a strikeout.
After defeating the Bruins, Gladstone will advance to the quarter-finals where the will face the North Bend Bulldogs, who beat out the Bruins for first place in the Far West League.
“I’m looking forward to a summer season and can’t thank out seniors enough for such great leadership and work ethic this year,” Wallin said.
The Bruins graduate seniors Cody Testa, Justin Vanginderen and Jacob Racho this year with the majority of the team returning for a promising 2019 season.
According to Wallin, 25 games have been scheduled for the summer season with the first starting June 20, a home game against Fortuna.