Friday, May 15, 2009

{rebels clinch playoff bid}

A late-season push puts
South Albany into the
postseason for the first time
A complete team game Thursday helped
South Albany reach new heights in the
school’s baseball history.
The Rebels got a solid performance from
sophomore starting pitcher Travis Kelley and
pounded 11 hits in a 7-1 home win against
South Albany took away most of the drama
early, building a 5-0 lead after two innings,
which might explain why the Rebels clinching
their first ever trip to the state playoffs
was met with not much more than handshakes
among teammates.
Junior Josh Robbins,
who had three
hits, including two
doubles, said his
team wasn’t going
to show up
Lebanon on the
“We’ve still got a
game tomorrow,”
he said. “We’re
keeping our class.
We’re not a bush
league team.“
The win moves
South one game
ahead of Lebanon
in the Mid-
Willamette Conference
regular season with only this afternoon’s
game at Lebanon left to close out the
regular season.
Regardless of today’s outcome, the Rebels
(12-13, 10-10 league) get the Mid-Willamette’s
fourth seed to state after winning the threegame
series with the Warriors (9-13, 9-11).
South has now won four of its last five
games after taking two of three from Dallas
last week.
“I think the way that we’ve been playing
lately, they expected to come out and win,”
South coach Chad Angel said of his team’s
subdued celebration.“We’ve got other things
that we’ve got to accomplish now, too.”
Kelley picked up his fifth win of the season
after he struck out nine and allowed five hits
and three walks. Lebanon’s run came in the
fifth, after loading the bases on three hits. Jon
Hiebert’s sacrifice fly produced the run.
“He’s been throwing really well for us,”
Angel said of Kelley. “He did a nice job,
showed a lot of composure for a sophomore
up there. A big game for him.”
South got two in the first on RBI singles by
Robbins and Cody Chagnon. Three more
came home in the second, the first on a
bases-loaded error and the next two on the
first of Robbins’ two doubles.
The Rebels added their last two runs in the
fourth with four hits.
After Josh Heckman and Robbins reached
based with hits, Zac Hunter drove in one with
a single and Chagnon brought home the next
with a double.
Hunter joined Robbins with three hits.
“We came through,” Robbins said. “We’re
starting to smack the ball around a little bit,
and did a good job of that.”
After Lebanon defeated Crescent Valley
13-10 last Friday, the Warriors still had a
chance to finish as high as third. But Lebanon
has since lost three straight and scored only
four runs.
“I would really like to see our guys step up
in the big game,” Lebanon coach Jeff Stolsig
said. “We weren’t very aggressive. (Kelley)
was throwing a lot of fastballs and we weren’t
very aggressive on it. We should have been
swinging the bat more.“
Lebanon reliever Cameron Thompson held
South scoreless for two-plus innings after replacing
starter Craig Trask in the fourth.
South will travel for its first game of the 5A
state playoffs, likely with a game at Marshall,
the Portland Interscholastic League’s third
seed, on May 22.
Thursday, the Rebels carried some momentum
from a 14-0 win at Lebanon on Tuesday.
They’ll try to keep that going today and into
the playoffs.
“We’re swinging the bat really well.We’ve
been pitching really well the last few weeks,”
Angel said.“We’ve been scoring runs.We’ve
been playing good baseball at the end of the
season and that’s important.”

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