Dr. Stewart’s defeated the Canyon Crushers twice on Sunday to advance to the Class AAA American Legion baseball state tournament in Grants Pass.
“I’m glad to get these guys in,” Docs head coach Scott Shaver said. “We’re peaking at the right time and we get to continue playing some great teams.”
It is the first time since 2011 that the Docs are able to advance to the state tournament.
The Docs will face the Portland Barbers in the state tournament opener Wednesday at 4 p.m.
Dr. Stewart’s faced the Barbers four times this summer, losing all four games, but they are coming off a phenomenal comeback in the Class AAA American Legion baseball super regionals.
“Everything changes in the postseason,” Shaver said. “They’re a good team and we need to play better defense, but we can absolutely win that game. This team is playing the best they’ve played all season and Portland has been off for about a week-and-a-half.”
The Docs lost their super regionals opener to Three River and needed to win all of their Saturday and Sunday games to continue to the state tournament.
They defeated Taylor and Three Rivers in Saturday’s games to advance to the finals against the Canyon Crushers.
The Docs (18-25) won Sunday’s first game 5-4 after 11 innings and were able to win the second game 12-0 in seven innings over the Crushers at Bill Gray Stadium at Legion Field.
“I’m really proud of these guys,” Shaver said. “They grinded out 40 innings of must-win baseball.”
The Canyon Crushers made it to the championship game by winning the first two games of the tournament.
Dr. Stewart’s had an early lead in the first game Sunday, but after the Crushers scored three runs in the sixth inning the Docs were fighting to get back into the game.
Zach Wyscaver hit a homerun in the seventh to tie the score at 4-4.
“We got a lot of gutty performances,” Shaver said. “Jacob Fricke, Jake Forrester, Kyle Westbrooks, Roy Benzel, Angus Swan, really everyone did an excellent job. We played much better baseball than Saturday.”
Neither team would score again in regulation and the game went into extra innings where Garnett scored the winning run on a sacrifice fly by Wyatt McKnight in the eleventh inning.
The boost of winning the first game elevated spirits for the Docs who were able to defeat Canyon 12-0 in the final game of the tournament and get the opportunity to advance to the state tournament.
Dr. Stewart’s 100 110 100 01 — 5 9 3
Crushers 001 003 000 00 — 4 7 3
Forrester, Stone, Fricke, Benzel and McKnight. WP — Fricke. LP — Fessler. HR — Wyscaver.
Crushers 000 000 0 — 0 5 0
Dr. Stewart’s 141 006 x — 12 14 0
Benzel, Swan (7) and McKnight. WP — Benzel. LP — Cock.
Wednesday’s Opening Games
at Reinhart Volunteer Park
Medford Mustangs vs. DeMarini Dirtbags, 9 a.m.
Eugene Challengers vs. Salem Withnell Dodgers, 12:30 p.m.
Roseburg Dr. Stewart’s vs. Portland Eastside Barbers, 4 p.m.
Grants Pass Nuggets vs. Corvallis Gerding Builders, 7 p.m.
TICKETS: $30 for tournament pass; $5 per session (two sessions per day through Friday) or $3 for seniors/students.