Bandon’s baseball team shrugged off two disappointing performances with a great game against league-leading Reedsport on Tuesday.
Unfortunately for the Tigers, the Brave were just a little bit better, winning 2-0 in a showdown that became a phenomenal pitching matchup between Bandon’s Jason Wilhite and Reedsport ace Dallas McGill.
Wilhite only gave up four hits all game, but Reedsport turned two Bandon mistakes into the only two runs of the game.
The Tigers, meanwhile, got six hits off McGill, an impressive number considering he recently threw a pair of one-hitters.
“We had opportunities at the plate — we just didn’t capitalize on them,” Wilhite said.
But following a 7-5 loss at Toledo and a 12-3 nonleague setback at Umpqua Valley Christian last week, both in error-prone contests for Bandon, Tuesday’s contest was refreshing.
“Last week we couldn’t make the routine play,” Bandon coach Jay Ferrell said. “Today we made the routine play routinely.”
Bandon now heads into Thursday’s regular-season finale at Siletz Valley needing a win to avoid a possible three-way tie with the Warriors and Toledo, who currently are a game behind the Tigers in the standings.
“We need to show up with the same mentality we did today and get runs across the plate,” Wilhite said.
If the Tigers beat the Warriors, they are guaranteed the league’s second berth into the Class 2A-1A playoffs. If they come up short, the teams likely will have a three-way tiebreaker doubleheader on Saturday to determine the No. 2 seed.
Bandon also could get into the playoffs as the one at-large qualifier for the classification, which goes to the top team in the power rankings that isn’t an automatic qualifier. At No. 10, Bandon is in good shape for that.
But the Tigers would rather win Thursday and take second place outright, and Tuesday’s game should be a confidence boost.
“I guess everyone realizes if we play like we did today, we can play with everybody,” Wilhite said.
Wilhite held Reedsport to a season low for runs. The game also matched the smallest margin of victory for the Brave this season.
“That’s the best I’ve seen Bandon play,” Reedsport coach Jason Lavigne said.
Matt Yarbor had a pair of infield singles in the loss and Cayton Sinay also had two singles. The other two hits were a single by Donavin Phommaphat and a bunt single by Braydon Freitag. The latter helped the Tigers get runners to second and third with one out in the sixth inning, but they weren’t able to push a run across the plate.
“We needed one two-out hit,” Ferrell said.
Bandon could have clinched a playoff spot with a win at Toledo, but committed errors that led to nearly every Toledo run.
Yarbor, Wilhite and Donavin Phommaphat had two hits each and Darian Phommaphat had a double.
Then on Friday, the Tigers faced Umpqua Valley Christian under the lights in Roseburg and again came up short with poor defense, committing five errors.
Bandon had seven singles by seven different players. Wilhite scored two of the runs and Sinay had a two-run single.