ROSEBURG — Two pitches. That’s all it took for the Roseburg High baseball team to take a lead against Sprague in the second round of the Class 6A state playoffs on Wednesday.
Spencer Six led off the bottom of the first with a triple on the first pitch he saw from Sprague starter Michael Soper. Junior Caden Johnson followed with a single on the very next pitch to put Roseburg in front 1-0 and the Indians controlled the game from there to earn a 5-2 victory over the Olympians at Bill Gray Stadium at Legion Field.
The six-seeded Indians (17-6) advance to the quarterfinals for the first time since 2013 and will travel to No. 3 Clackamas (22-7) on Friday. Game time is scheduled for 5 p.m. Watch the game live HERE.
“Nice to have a lead two pitches into the game,” Roseburg coach Troy Thompson said after the win. He was also pleased to see the offense back up a complete game performance from junior pitcher Jace Stoffal.
“Very much in command on the mound today,” Thompson said about Stoffal. “Fantastic effort by him.”
Stoffal, recently named the Southwest Conference pitcher of the year, tossed all seven innings for Roseburg to improve to 5-1 on the season. He struck out six and walked two, while allowing two runs on four hits.
“We’re flying high right now,” Stoffal said. “(We’ve) got lots of confidence at the plate. Pitchers are pitching very well, all of us and lots of defense behind us. We’re just really confident in our playing ability right now.”
Roseburg jumped on Sprague at the first opportunity. After Six scored to make it 1-0, Stoffal drove in two more runs in the first inning on a two-out double. He finished the day 2-for-3 at the plate, with two RBI and a walk. Stoffal reached base in all four of his plate appearances.
Sprague (14-12) avoided the shutout with two runs in the fourth. Stoffal issued a one-out walk to Will Deloretto and Soper drove him in with a triple. Soper scored one batter later on a opposite field single by Brock McMullen to make the score 3-2 in Roseburg’s favor.
The Indians responded right back with a run in the home half of the fourth inning on a single by Zack Mandera. The Tribe finished the scoring with an insurance run in the sixth on a single by Jonathan Stone.
“I think we have a lot of confidence right now,” said Roseburg junior Caden Johnson, who has hit 5-for-7 in the postseason. “Not only confidence, but momentum too. Which is another big thing that I think we should definitely carry over into the game at Clackamas.”
Roseburg will try to carry that momentum to a win over the Cavaliers and a berth in the semifinals for the first time since the 2013 season.
Clackamas defeated Lake Oswego 2-0 on Wednesday to advance to the quarterfinals. Senior Nick Vaughn threw a complete game no-hitter for the Cavaliers.
Sprague 000;200;0 — 2;4;1
Roseburg 300;101;X — 5;9;0
Soper, Deloretto (3), Muth (6) and McMullen; Stoffal and Six. WP — Stoffal, 5-1. LP — Soper. 2B — Johnson (R), Stoffal (R), Black (R). 3B — Soper (S), Six (R).