COOS BAY — Marshfield’s baseball team finished the season with a split of a doubleheader against visiting Elmira on Monday.
The Pirates dominated the opener 10-0 in six innings, but Elmira came back to win the nightcap 6-3 and clinch a spot in the final 16-team bracket for the Class 4A playoffs.
Elmira finished at 9-6 in the league standings, tied with Marist Catholic and a game in front of Cottage Grove. Elmira held the tiebreaker by virtue of its sweep over Marist Catholic last Friday.
Junction City won the league title at 13-2 and will join Elmira in the playoffs. Marist Catholic and Cottage Grove are in the play-in round, with Marist Catholic visiting Phoenix and Cottage Grove visiting Philomath.
Marshfield finished 5-10, with wins in three of its final four games.
“It’s very exciting,” said Cameron Olson, Marshfield’s only senior. “We won eight games (overall). I don’t remember the last time Marshfield won eight games.”
The Pirates did it with a young roster — five freshmen were on the field for parts of Monday’s doubleheader.
“They are going to be part of the core for a while,” Marshfield coach Floyd Montiel said. “We will be competitive.
“These kids know we can compete with almost anybody in league.”
The only team that dominated the Pirates in every league game was Junction City. The Pirates were close in several of their losses, including Monday’s second game.
The teams were tied at 2 heading to the top of the sixth, when Elmira scored four runs, aided by several Marshfield errors.
“It’s the tale of the tape,” Olson said. “One bad inning, we had what, four errors? You can’t win a game like that.”
In Marshfield’s wins, the Pirates had nearly no mistakes in the field.
And in the first game Monday, Marshfield also got fantastic pitching.
“We came out with a lot of energy,” Montiel said of the opener. “Ryan Knight pitched his best game since Sutherlin (on March 25).
“We manufactured a lot of runs. The defense played great.”
Trace James had two hits, two RBIs and a run and Olson and Logan Peck had two runs each. Knight drove in two runs.
In the second game, the Pirates got a big boost from Blake Crane, who had pitched for the junior varsity team most of the season.
Crane pitched four solid innings before Olson came on in relief. Olson pitched fine, too, but wasn’t helped by the defense.
“The wheels fell off,” Montiel said. “We were trying to make fancy plays instead of just playing fundamental baseball.”
Josh Hinds had two hits and a run, James had two hits, a run and two RBIs and Peck also had two hits. Ezra Waterman had a double.
The Pirates got the potential tying run to the plate in the seventh inning, but ran out of outs.
“One thing about these kids,” Montiel said. “They got down a lot this year and they kept coming back.”
Now Marshfield heads into an important offseason.
“The majority of the kids are going to play (American) Legion,” Montiel said. “They’ll get to work.”