Saturday, May 3, 2008

{out of the playoffs}

Lebanon is playing well late in the season, keeping alive its chances at a state playoff berth.The Warriors’ 9-2 win at South Albany on Friday has Lebanon in position to make the 5A baseball bracket with a sweep of Crescent Valley next week.Lebanon took two of three in this week’s series. Both teams are now tied at 9-9 in league play with one week to go.Tuesday, Lebanon opens its final three-game series at Crescent Valley (11-7).South, now out of playoff contention because of the way the tiebreakers fall, is at home Tuesday against West Albany (13-5).Lebanon (10-12 overall) got contributions throughout its lineup, including four hits and two RBIs from Taylor Bitterman and six strong innings by starting pitcher Ben Cramlet.Nico Johnson added a double and a triple; Jon Hiebert had two hits and an RBI; and Cramlet helped his own cause with a hit and two runs batted in.Friday, Lebanon scored four runs on nine hits in the first inning.South (10-11) got two back in the bottom of the first, butcouldn’t add on.Bitterman said getting the early runs was a big boost.“It keeps us going,” he said. “When we get on the board first it gives us a lot of confidence and we stay up the whole game.”Jonathon Neuschwander had two hits for South. Zac Hunter and Justin Robbins each had one RBI.Cramlet allowed six South hits, walked two and struck out three.“Ben was adequate. He was Ben,” Stolsig said. “He’s not going to overpower you. He’s not going to hurt himself very much, he’s going to throw strikes and that’s exactly what we need from him.”The Rebels entered Friday one game behind Crescent Valley for fourth place and one game ahead of Lebanon.But South just couldn’t get much going against the Warriors.“We had a lot of opportunities, guys in scoring position, we just couldn’t seem to get that clutch hit when we needed it,” South coach Chad Angel said. “They did a nice job. They hit it all over the place and we made mistakes.”Corvallis (16-2 MWC) is on its way to winning the conference title. The Spartans host Silverton (3-15) next week.West Albany clinched a playoff spot with Lebanon’s win.Lebanon started the league season with three straight losses to Corvallis.But the Warriors have the playoffs in sight if they can come up with three more wins.“For these guys to think they’re going to be playing in meaningful games this time of year ... they worked real hard and persevered and got to this point,” Stolsig said.Lebanon 9, South Albany 2Lebanon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .410 112 0 — 9 16 1South Albany . . . . . . . . . . . . . .200 000 0 — 2 6 2Cramlet, Stubbs (7) and Marshall. Rudzik, Jor. Heckman (5), Hanslovan (7) and Belcher. 3B—L, Johnson. 2B—L, Johnson, Duerr. SA, Robbins. W—Cramlet. L—Rudzik.

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