SALEM - After three innings of play in the Oregon Class 1A/2A state championship Friday, Weston-McEwen held a 3-0 lead over the Kennedy Trojans and was in control.
But the TigerScots allowed nine runs over the next two innings - seven of them unearned - en route to a 10-4 loss and a second-place finish at state.
"We allowed way too many free baserunners to Kennedy," W-M coach T.J. Haguewood said. "We just fell into way too big of a hole after giving up the unearned runs and it's hard to win a game when you give up freebies."
Working on two days of rest, W-M starter Dallas Reich made it into the fifth inning and was charged with seven runs while striking out four and walking four.
W-M's Elliot Salter led off the first inning with a triple and Calvin Thacker singled him into score.
Reich singled and Jared Bond walked to load the bases. Nick Lively knocked a two-RBI single to push the score to 3-0.
"We started off the game really well," Haguewood said. "We were prepared, getting after it and hitting the ball good."
Riley Sederburg was hit by a pitch to reload the bases but the TigerScots' Jerad Croswell hit into an inning-ending double play on a ground ball to third.
Another TigerScot rally was squelched in the bottom of the third inning with Reich on third and one out. K.J. White hit a sharp grounder to first, Kennedy took the force out at one and threw home to get Reich attempting to score.
Daniel Hammer led off the Trojan fourth inning with a single to right before a fielding error and a walk loaded the bases for Kennedy with just one out recorded. Max Jaeger flew out to right for what would have been the final out of the inning to score a runner. Two hit batters, another hit and another walk later Kennedy held a 5-3 lead.
The TigerScots finally stopped the bleeding when White made a running snag near the left-field warning strip to record the final out in the fourth.
Things got worse for Weston-McEwen in the fifth.
An error and a walk on the first two batters chased Reich from the mound and brought in reliever Nick Lively.
Lively struck out the first batter he saw and got another out on a sac-fly from the next batter, but a failed pickoff attempt at first and a balk pushed across three more runs and put the game out of reach.
"It was a long season for the TigerScots and we battled until the last pitch," Haguewood said. "You work so hard - and it is frustrating to end on a loss - But I couldn't be more proud of the boys. They have a lot of reasons to hold their heads up high."
For Kennedy, Frank Rodriguez pitched a complete game and struck out nine.
"He (Rodriguez) is a gamer and he works quickly," Haguewood said. "We hit him good in that first inning but he just kept bearing down and finally got into a zone. We knew he'd be good and he kept throwing those strikes throughout the game."
Lively and Reich walked a total of eight and hit four Trojan batters.
With the loss the TigerScots finish the season a 22-5.
Weston-McEwen will graduate Jared Bond, Lively, Reich, Elliot Salter, Jimmy Baker and Riley Sederburg.
"I'm extremely proud of the boys," Haguewood said. "I couldn't ask for a better group of young men to coach and all of the families that supported us throughout the season. I'm proud to call myself a TigerScot and flattered that we had the season we did.
"I hope that we will continue to battle and be right there in the state championship talk for years to come."
Kennedy 10, Weston-McEwen 4
Kennedy 000 541 0 - 10 6 2
W-M 300 010 0 - 4 7 3
F. Rodriguez and Shuman. Reich, Lively (5) and Salter.
HR - none.
Hits - Kennedy: F. Rodriguez, Shuman, Hammer 2, Unrein, W. Rodriguez. W-M: Salter 2, C. Thacker, Reich, Lively, L. Thacker 2.