Vale’s Kyle Barras is on deck during the first inning of the 3A Oregon State Championships semifinals game between Vale and Horizon Christian on May 31, 2011 at Cammann Field in Vale, OR.
Vale was coming off two rainy day playoff games against Rogue River and Dayton so it was nice to have a clear day for another big playoff game, the semifinals against Horizon Christian. A Tuesday afternoon game and a big hometown crowd with many taking time off from work to make it to the show. It starts off well for Vale, three runs in the second when Branden Holloway’s bases loaded single brings home the first two.
Austin Tolman is all smiles as he is greeted by teammates Shadd Samio and Derrek Rodriquez after scoring in the second inning. Tolman followed Brady Sharp home on a bases loaded single by Branden Holloway.
Two out in the sixth and Horizon comes up with some timely hits and two hit batters to score four and go up by one. The palms get a little sweatier, the hearts race a little faster – it’s set up to make the victory a little sweeter, the story a little better.
I go back to the Vale dugout in hopes of capturing the game ending jubo. This Vale team has been low keyed on their victory celebrations but I’m thinking a walk off hit to go to the state championship game equals a big celebration.
Barras is back to the mound for the seventh and if it’s possible, he looks even more focused.
Kyle Barras pitches against Horizon Christian. Barras went seven innings striking out nine, walking two, and giving up four runs (two unearned).
1-2-3 Horizon’s out, Vale’s opportunity to shine. Austin Dayton leads off the seventh inning with a base on balls.
Austin Dayton takes a lead off first base after walking to start the seventh inning. The CE armband is in memory of Connie Evins, a well-liked active member of the Vale community and Kyle Barras’s grandmother, who passed away earlier in the week.
The at-bats were legit. The cuts were big and made with confidence but the drives didn’t find the gaps and Horizon made the plays.
Vale’s Shadd Samio has his eyes on the ball as he takes a cut in the bottom of the seventh.
Horizon Christian 4, Vale 3. Game over, season over – one game too soon. The celebration is on the other side of the field.
Hey it wasn’t suppose to end this way. It feels like a slug in the gut.
Coach Rick Yraguen talks to his team following the 4-3 loss to Horizon Christian.
Win with class, lose with class. These players can hold their heads high. 23-4, a damn good year. I think when people look back on formative moments in their lives, and this may or may not be one of those moments, they imagine all the what ifs. In this case, I think it will drive most to work even harder to avoid that feeling again. The loss will linger and fade with time, but the other memories of the season and the times hanging out with teammates will grow stronger. Well done – Viking Pride!
WHAT I LOVE ABOUT BASEBALLl
I know I made you write with a permanent sharpie and only gave you about a minute to think of something to write so I appreciate you all participating. I updated the photo gallery with a few more from the past game.
3A OREGON ALL STATE TEAMS
The all state team was announced on June 2nd. It includes three Vikings, Kyle Barras, Shadd Samio and Austin Dayton. The following partial list of the all state teams are players from teams that Vale played this season.
(pitcher) Kyle Barras, Vale; (first baseman) Hayden Craig, Dayton; (outfielders) Forrest Garcia, Dayton; Zach Stratton, Nyssa; Christian Reyes, Rogue River; (utility-DH) Ben Manley, Dayton.
(pitchers) Zach Selland, Horizon Christian; Casey Thein, Burns; (catchers) Jordan Pearson, Horizon Christian; Nolan Stampke, Burns; (outfielders) Shane Monahan, Horizon Christian; Rocky Garcia, Nyssa; Gabe Louthan, Dayton; Casey Heinz, Burns; (utility-DH) Shadd Samio, Vale.
(catchers) Dylan Dupont, Rogue River; (infielders) Austin Dayton, Vale; Jared Stearns, Grant Union;(outfielder) Kyle Weymouth, Grant Union; (utility-DH) Brian Stinchcomb, Rogue River.
I want to thank coaches Rick Yraguen, Rick Bates, Stefan Maupin, Garrett Brown and the players for giving me the opportunity to take pictures. My goal was to try to capture a few memories but man, it was fun to be back at the ballpark.
Thank you to Principal MaryJo Sharp and AD Tom Snook for welcoming and granting me access around the ballpark and to Mike Tolman for letting me borrow the ladder. I appreciate the graciousness of the umpires, opposing coaches and players from all the teams for letting a stranger spend some time on their side of the field. And to the real media folks, I hope I didn’t take up too much space in the dugout.
Thanks for stopping by to take a look. -Gregg Mizuta