News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Outlaws Baseball advances to playoff quarterfinals

A big home win has propelled Sisters Varsity Baseball to the next round of the state playoffs.

Next, the team travels to league rival Pleasant Hill. Their game is set for Friday, May 24 at 4:30 p.m.

The Outlaws secured their spot in the OSAA / OnPoint Community Credit Union 3A Baseball State Championship Quarterfinals on Wednesday, blanking South Umpqua 9-0 at home.

The Round-2 matchup was a tight one at first. Sophomores Jace Owens and Sebastian Storch each singled in a run, in the second and third innings, respectively. The next seven runs didn't come until the sixth inning: Owens hit another RBI single to make it 4-0, then seniors Brody Fischer and Justin deSmet smacked doubles; Fischer's scored three and deSmet's scored two.

Sisters' strong pitching and errorless play kept the visiting Lancers off the board.

"We played good defense pretty much the whole time," said Outlaws Assistant Coach David deSmet.

Fischer earned the win. He struck out four batters, walked three, and allowed four hits over six innings in the Outlaws' fifth shutout of the year. Fischer was the starter for all five shutouts.

"Brody has provided a lot of leadership for us and he's done an excellent job pitching," Coach deSmet added. Reliever Diego Silva closed out the game.

On Friday, Storch will start on the hill, but will not have home-field advantage against the Billies.

"Somehow, they ended up with a higher seed," said Outlaws Head Coach Matt Hilgers.

Although Sisters finished the season No. 1 in the Mountain Valley Conference rankings, over La Pine and Pleasant Hill, OSAA ranks Pleasant Hill as No. 4, Sisters as No. 5 and La Pine as No. 7 in 3A.

"It's frustrating to win the league and have to go on the road to play a league opponent," Hilgers said.

Sisters (15-3 in league, 21-7 overall) lost two of three close games to Pleasant Hill (14-4 / 20-6) last month, however Hilgers thinks a lot has changed since then.

"Our hitting is ten times better than it was when we played them last time," he said. "If we keep playing our game, we'll be fine."

Storch is confident he can handle the playoff pressure.

"I'm going to relax, trust what I normally do and just compete," he said. "I really trust my defense behind me. I always have their back when they're pitching. I know my defense has my back."

The winner would play the victor of the North Valley vs. Brookings-Harbor game. Also on Friday at 4:30, La Pine is playing Banks, and Valley Catholic is playing Warrenton.

The next round is the semifinals, set for Tuesday, May 28. The finals are scheduled for June 1.


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