STANFIELD - Weston-McEwen baseball coach T.J. Haguewood had a big decision before Tuesday's playoff game against Heppner.
The TigerScots were slated to host the Mustangs, but recent rains left the W-M field vulnerable to possible storms Tuesday. Haguewood wanted to be sure the game was played Tuesday, with Saturday's district tournament scheduled in The Dalles.
So Haguewood decided to move the site to Stanfield, where the infield is grass and the game could be played despite rain.
The strategy paid off for the TigerScots, who came home with a 9-7 victory.
W-M now plays for the district title against Stanfield about 3 p.m. Saturday, its first baseball state playoff game in more than 10 years, Haguewood estimated.
"I was extremely proud of the boys," he said. "We had our backs to the wall a couple times, but when the time mattered we beared down and made the plays."
The Mustangs opened the game with three quick runs in the top of the first inning.
The TigerScots answered with a five-spot of their own, and added two in the second to take the 7-3 lead.
Heppner tied it up with four third-inning runs, but once again W-M answered with a single run in the bottom of the inning.
The TigerScots escaped unscathed in the sixth inning after Heppner loaded the bases with no outs. The TigerScots got a fly-out, W-M reliever Matt McGill flipped the ball to catcher Elliot Salter at home on a squeeze play for the second out and W-M managed to get out of the inning.
W-M scored an insurance run in the bottom of the inning for the final score.
Haguewood said the game was still effectively a home game for the TigerScots, despite being played in Stanfield.
"We had a ton of people travel down there," Haguewood said.
W-M 9, Heppner 7
Heppner 304 000 0 - 7 7 4
W-M 521 001 x - 9 9 4
Ore and Brannon. Reich, McGill (6) and Salter.
HR - Hep: Gutieuez.
Hits - Hep: Day 2, Gutieuez 2, Chick, Harrison, Ore. W-M: Salter 2, Thacker 2, Reich, Greenwalt 2, Carson, McGill.