How sweet it is

Pendleton’s Wyatt Whitten throws from the mound on Friday, May 20 in the Bucks’ 13-3 win over St. Helens in Pendleton. Pendleton is one of nine area schools playing in their respective state tournament this week.

The first round of the OSAA baseball and softball championship-bracket games begins Wednesday and as in every sport, Eastern Oregon is well represented.

Nine baseball and softball teams are just four wins away from a state title as they enter the Round of 16. Only Pendleton and Weston-McEwen will be playing for a chance at a title in both sports.

Here is a quick look at all of the area matchups being played Wednesday.



Sandy at Pendleton

For the second playoff game in a row the No. 1 Buckaroos (23-2)?will face a team with a losing record after beating St. Helens in the play-in round.

No. 23 Sandy (10-15)?defeated No. 8 Hermiston 4-2 to earn a second trip back to the dry side, but should find the local team a little less hospitable this time around.

Pioneers senior Trent Rutledge pitched a one-hit shutout through six innings against Hermiston but will be hard pressed to slow down a Bucks lineup that has scored 240 runs this season and averages 10 per game at Bob White Field.

The Bucks also have allowed just 79 runs this season and have plenty of healthy arms in the bullpen with Wyatt Whitten, Ike Van Pelt, John Kline and Kolby Haliewicz all notching innings on the mound this season.

Sandy has scored 154 runs while giving up 192 this season and are 9-11 on the road.

The game will start at 5:30 p.m.


North Douglas at Stanfield 

By knocking off Days Creek in the Special District 4 semifinals, No. 21 North Douglas earned the right to face No. 3 Stanfield in the sweet 16 on Wednesday.

Their 13-17 record is deceiving as it includes a 10-10 mark on the road. The Warriors have scored 155 runs this season while giving up 167 but are a veteran squad with six seniors and two juniors. 

Stanfield (20-5) won 14 straight at one point this season but come into Wednesday’s game 2-2 in their last four. Three of their five losses have come at home but two of those were in the preseason Tiger Invite.

The Tigers have scored 237 runs this season while giving up only 85. 

The game will begin at 4 p.m.


Umpqua Valley Christian at Heppner

In a meeting of two teams that made the semifinals last season, No. 17 Umpqua Valley Christian (15-12)?will travel to No. 5 Heppner (16-6) on Wednesday.

The Mustangs are stacked with experience after making a run to the championship game last season and have eight seniors and six juniors on the roster. They have struggled at home, though, going 6-5 in Heppner this season.

Heppner has scored 189 runs while allowing 136 and are 6-4 in their last 10 games.

The Monarchs only have three seniors and two juniors on their roster and have scored 225 runs while allowing 139 on their way to the Special District 4 title. They also are 6-4 in their last 10.

The game will begin at 4:30 p.m.


Weston-McEwen at Lowell

The No. 9 TigerScots (16-8)?are the only area team in baseball or softball to play their Round of 16 game on the road but you won’t hear them complaining. 

The last time the TigerScots baseball team was still alive at this point in the season was 1997. They are 11-7 away from Athena this season.

The TigerScots have wins over No. 5 Heppner and No. 3 Stanfield in their last three contests while the No. 8 Devils (18-4) knocked off No. 4 Monroe 12-5 in the Special District 3 championship. Monroe had won their previous three meetings.

Lowell is 11-2 at home this season with six of those wins comeing in five innings. Lowell has scored 249 runs while giving up just 69.

Weston-McEwen has scored 189 while allowing 162.

The game will be at 3 p.m.



Mountain View at Hermiston 

The Hermiston softball team has overcome a lot of demons this season — beating Pendleton, The Dalles Wahtonka and Post Falls (Idaho), all teams that had their number in recent years.

Now they’ll look to win a home game in the Round of 16 for the first time since 2002.

The No. 3 Bulldogs (17-8), are 12-5 at home this season and have scored 185 runs while allowing 118 this season.

Hermiston is 5-5 in its last 10 games and will host No. 17 Mountain View (12-11), an opponent they are all too familiar with after spending years together in the Intermountain Conference.

The Cougars are 6-4 over their last 10 games and enter as the IMC?champions after scoring 165 runs but allowing 181 this season.

The game will begin at 4 p.m.


North Eugene at Pendleton 

No. 15 North Eugene (14-11) enters its playoff game at Pendleton having won seven of its last 10 and posting a better road than home winning percentage.

The Highlanders finished second in the Midwestern league and scored 131 runs while allowing 104 this season. The team has just two seniors back from last year’s squad, which lost 4-1 at home in this round last year.

No. 4 Pendleton (15-10)?knows not to overlook anybody after seeing its title hopes cut short at home last season.

Pendleton has scored 124 runs this season while giving up 84 and are 6-4 at home this year. All of their home losses came to Hermiston and The Dalles Wahtonka.

Pendleton will try to get its bats going like it did against Sherwood in a 5-0 play-in win, but what looks like it could shape up to be a low-scoring nail biter will begin at 4 p.m.


Newport at Mac-Hi

Mac-Hi (17-9) earned a home playoff game by beating Marshall 21-0 in five inning in their play-in game.

It was just the second time this season the No. 7 Pioneers ended a game early but not because of a lack of offense.

The Pioneers have scored 177 runs this season but have given up 105. They are 12-2 at home this season.

The No. 18 Cubs (14-12) beat Elmira 6-1 in a play-in road game and have gone 8-6 on the road this year.

They have won three of their last four games but are in the negative in run differential on the season, having given up 117 while scoring just 103.

The game will begin at 3 p.m.


Gaston at Pilot Rock

The No .3 Rockets (20-5)?are 4-0 at home in the playoffs over the last three seasons and are 10-1 in The Rock this year.

Senior Kylee Jensen stepped in and went 12-0 in her only year as a starting pitcher and the Rockets have backed her up with 186 runs while allowing 69.

No. 17 Gaston (14-5)?didn’t play a single home game this season so winning in hostile territory is nothing they aren’t used to.

The Greyhounds are young with only two seniors and no juniors but they can play. They have scored 211 runs this season while allowing 90. Gaston exited in the play-in round last year.

The game will start at 4:30 p.m.


Enterprise at Weston-McEwen

Playing in a tougher conference helped the No. 8 TigerScots (15-9) earn a home playoff game against No. 9 Enterprise (19-4).

The Outlaws come into the game on a three-game skid but were on a 15-game winning streak before that.

The teams met one other time this season with the TigerScots winning 5-4 in 10 innings on April 5 in Enterprise.

The Outlaws are 10-0 on opposing fields this season and have scored 230 runs while allowing 64.

Home games have been rare for the TigerScots this season and they have gone 5-3 in those. Weston-McEwen scored 166 runs this season while giving up 83 and are 5-5 in their last 10 games.

The game will start at 5:30 p.m.


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