The Outlaws took top honors at the Salt River Baseball Classic held in Scottsdale, Arizona, over spring break. This year marked the sixth consecutive year Sisters has participated in the event.
Sisters started the tournament with a tough 6-5 loss to Sierra Canyon, out of California. The Outlaws held a three-run lead as they headed into the final inning, but couldn't hold on for the win.
"We were a little rusty and didn't play a very good defensive game," said Coach Steve Hodges. "But we got better as the tournament went on."
The Outlaws recorded a 4-2 victory in their next game against Valley Union of South Arizona. Freshman Ryan Funk was the winning pitcher. Funk did a great job and recorded four strikeouts.
Joey Morgan hit an RBI triple in the first inning to score Justin Harrer and get the Outlaws off to an exciting start. Harrer went 2/4 at the plate to lead the Outlaws.
Sisters shut out their next two opponents; the first a 17-0 win over Phoenix Christian.
Freshman Jacob Gurney was the Outlaws' winning pitcher. Gurney threw five strikeouts in two innings to earn the win for Sisters.
Cody Kreminski's grand slam in the third was the highlight of the game. Kreminski sent the ball over the left-field fence and through the windshield into the front seat of the umpire's car.
Morgan went 3/3 with a two-run homer in the first.
The Outlaws went on to hold Portland Christian (PC) scoreless with a final score of 10-0. Sisters had 10 hits in the game and PC only managed to get four.
Jarden Weems was the Outlaws' winning pitcher.
Jonathan Luz got on base every time and finished 3/3. Luz led the Outlaws overall in the tourney with 11 hits. Hodges also noted that Luz played excellent defense. Weems had an RBI triple in the first and Kreminski had two doubles in the contest. Funk went 2/3 with a double, and Alex Olivier hit a double.
Sisters advanced to the semi-finals and defeated Sierra Canyon (SC) 4-1 in what Hodges thought was the best game of the entire tournament, with both teams playing an errorless game.
The Outlaws finished with 10 hits in the game, and SC had four. Morgan was the winning pitcher for Sisters and did an outstanding job on the mound. Joey only gave up four hits, had zero walks and recorded seven strikeouts.
"Great pitching and good defense were the reason we were able to win," stated Hodges.
Weems' triple with the bases loaded in the sixth inning turned the tide for the Outlaws. Jardon sent the ball to right center all the way to the fence and brought home Olivier, Alec Gannon and Luz.
Sisters matched up against Northland Prep (NP) out of Flagstaff in the championship game. The Outlaws notched an easy 13-4 victory.
Harrer was the Outlaws' winning pitcher.
"It was a long weekend, and Justin just kept battling and mustered the strength and mental focus to get us the win," stated Hodges.
Funk and Gurney each came in and pitched one inning.
Sisters got 13 runs off 10 hits and NP recorded four runs off nine hits.
Hodges told The Nugget that it was a close game except for two innings. The Outlaws racked up six runs in the fourth inning and held a 9-5 lead as they headed into the seventh. Sisters added four additional runs in the seventh to secure the win.
Big hits in the fourth inning came from Kreminski and Funk. Kreminski hit a three-RBI triple to left field, and Funk hit a two-RBI double to the right-field line.
In the final inning Luz and Kreminski both had RBI singles.
Morgan went 2/3 with two RBI.
Of the tournament, Hodges said, "It was good to play a number of games in a short period of time. We got a lot of at-bats, which is what we needed. Coming into the tournament we had played only one game. We needed game time and practice time and got that. Overall, it was a great time with the team and a lot of fun."
Sisters returned home and got routed by Bend in a final score of 11-1 on Friday, April 4.
The Outlaws had five hits in the game and only managed to score one run. Sisters had a rough time on defense and committed five errors.
Funk scored on a fielder's choice for Sisters' lone run of the game.
Sisters was scheduled to kick-off their 15-game conference schedule on Monday, April 7, at home against Cottage Grove. On Wednesday, the Outlaws will host Sweet Home and two days later travel to Elmira.