KEIZER – When Dave Gasser retired as Astoria ball manager finale June, he left as the winningest ball manager in Oregon high school past.
What Gasser position behind was a program that could fend for itself. The Fishermen proved as much Saturday when they beat North Valley of Grants Pass 4-1 to win the OSAA Class 4A Soviets championship at Volcanoes Stadium.
Astoria (24-2) won its third state rubric in six years with a decisive 5th inning and the three-hit flipped of junior Conor Harber. The Fishermen broke unbarred a 1-1 game in the fifth when three North Valley (17-13) errors LED to a three-run inning.
“No way we weren’t departure to do well this season,” Harber said. “He leaved too many good skill players behind.”
That list of accomplishment player start with Harber, WHO wins three Soviets playoff backed after departure 9- during the Cowapa League period. Harber closed putout North Valley by scene feather the match 7 hitters, the finale 4 by whiff.
“You tin’t opportunity sufficiency about what Conor did present. He’s been our stone all twelvemonth,” said Astoria former baseman Jacob Davis, WHO had a two-bagger and scored 2 run.
Rock or not, Astoria had problem separating itself from North Valley, just as the heavily-favored Fishermen did in finale year’s 4A match, where they doomed to Scappoose 2-1 in 8 inning.
Astoria jumped to a 1- Pb in the first inning when Marc Gallegos’ single scored Davis. But North Valley, which shook off a fourth-place finish in the Skyline Conference to make its first title game since 1985, pulled even during the third inning when Joel Shippy’s sacrifice housefly scored John Parker.
Were thoughts of 2010 starting to weirdo into the Astoria dugout with the game tied 1-1 in the underside of the fifth inning?
“A little bit,” Harber said. “In the back of my head, I was just thinking get one run.”
Three was yet better, after Fishermen compound 2 hit with three North Valley errors for a 4-1 lead. Astoria took a 2-1 lead on a duplicate by Taylor Fox that scored Dillon Smith, who reached base on an error. Fox then scored on a 2-base error on a ball played by Davis, who later place on Ryan Johnson’s sacrifice fly.
North Valley coach Eric Werner said the fifth-frame mistake were uncharacteristic of the Knights’ defense during their contest run.
“Their squad made us play,” Werner state.
Harber finished the backed by hit putout the pulled during the seventh, then spiking his mitt on the hill to celebrate the title.
“He definitely was the difference in the contest,” Werner said. “Take him out of the game and it would have been a different outcome.”
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