May 21, 2022 — The Siuslaw baseball team wrapped up its regular season on Monday, May 16, with two games against Marshfield of Coos Bay. Siuslaw came back from seven runs down to win the first game 9-8. They played well but dropped the nightcap 7-5.
The doubleheader split was enough for the Vikings to earn a spot in the OSAA 4A Baseball State Championships. For the first time in eight years, the Vikings season would not end when the regular season did.
The first game of the day on May 16 did not start out well.
Marshfield scored five in the first and two in the second and, before the Vikings knew what hit them, they were down 7-0.
The home team did not give up.
After scoring one run in the second inning, the Viking bats came alive in the third when they scored three. They added three more runs in the fifth and took the lead in the sixth with a two-run double by senior Jason Garcia to give Siuslaw the lead 9-8 — and eventually a much needed victory for the Vikings.
Siuslaw scattered 13 hits in the game led by junior Noah Dotson. He went 3 for 4 in the game and drove in a season high five runs.
“Noah had a great game at the plate,” said Viking Coach Tom Shinn. “He really came through at clutch times.”
Senior Ethan Halpin also had three hits in game one. He scored twice.
Sophomore Andrew Jensen-Norman took over for senior Beau Erickson when he got in trouble in the third inning and proceeded to shutout the Pirates for the rest of the game. In 4 2/3 innings pitched, he only allowed two Marshfield hits to pick up the win for the Vikings.
“Andrew was awesome on the mound in relief for Beau today,” said Shinn. “What a great game to be involved with. After a very rough start, the men settled in.”
After the first game of the doubleheader, the Siuslaw seniors on the baseball team were honored.
Jason Garcia, Henry Rankin, Ethan Halpin, Beau Erickson and Isaac Garza all graduate next month and are wrapping up their Siuslaw baseball careers. Each player’s name was called, and they were joined by their family at home plate where they were presented with balloons and various other mementos to remember their Viking baseball careers.
(Editor’s note: look for memories and highlights of each of the senior’s careers in a later edition of the Siuslaw News after completion of the baseball season.)
After the seniors were honored, it was time for game two, each team’s final game of their regular season.
Marshfield scored one in the first, one in the second and two in the third and it was 4-0 Pirates before Siuslaw could score a run. Though Siuslaw would, themselves, score in three straight innings, it was not enough as the Pirates would get the win 7-5.
Though it was a loss, Shinn was pleased how his team played in the second game of the day.
“As a team, we only had five strike outs,” said Shinn. “We put the ball in play and made Marshfield have to make plays which led to them raking up five errors. While our hits were lower in this game, we offensively did what we have been working on.”
With the doubleheader split, Siuslaw ended the regular season with a season record of 10-15, the most wins for Siuslaw also since 2014, when the team went 11-12. The Viks finished 5-10 in league play, which put them in a tie for fourth place in the Sky-Em League with Elmira/Triangle Lake.
“What tonight’s double header shows us as a team is that we can play with anybody,” said Shinn on Monday. “This year we have been involved in games with some high quality opponents not just in league, but also in non-league games. Hidden Valley (24-2), who we stood toe to toe with, and Mazama (17-8), who we played on our spring break trip, are both teams in the playoffs and we have been right there with them.”
The Vikings’ 10-15 record put them as the #19 ranked team in the OSAA’s 4A computer rankings — which was enough for Siuslaw to earn its first postseason berth since 2014.
On May 20, Siuslaw traveled up the coast to face the Tillamook Cheesemakers, the second-place team from the Cowapa League, in the first round of the state playoffs. Results were not available at press deadlines. Look for coverage in the next edition of the Siuslaw News.