The Umpqua Valley Christian Monarchs were in prime position to knock off the Santiam Christian Eagles on Monday night, holding a three-run lead entering the top of the seventh inning.
But UVC committed two crucial errors in the seventh, leading to five Eagles runs and Santiam Christian rallied for a 7-5 nonleague baseball win at Bill Gray Legion Stadium at Champion Car Wash Field.
Santiam Christian of Adair Village is one of the top Class 3A programs in the state. The Eagles won the state championship in 2015, finished second in 2016 and have lost in the semifinals the last two seasons.
Umpqua Valley Christian of Dixonville captured the 2A/1A state title in 2019. The Monarchs didn’t get an opportunity to defend their championship in 2020 after the season was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“I felt good (about our performance) until the seventh inning,” UVC coach Dave York said. “The kids competed well. Sam (Guastaferro) pitched a great game. Even though they got 10 hits off him, he managed the game well.”
Guastaferro, a senior, went six innings before being relieved by Nathan York. Guastaferro allowed seven runs (four earned), striking out five and walking two. He hit one batter.
Rylan Kutsch picked up the decision in relief for the Eagles (4-0), giving up one hit and no earned runs in two innings.
Logan Beem, Kutsch and Jadon Roth each had two hits for Santiam Christian, which made five errors. Roth had two RBIs.
The Monarchs (2-1) finished with six hits. They scored four runs in the bottom of the fourth to take a 4-2 lead and added one in the sixth to make it 5-2.
“We were OK offensively,” coach York said. “We played the small game well and had some good moments. We hit some balls hard at them.”
Devin McLaughlin knocked in three runs for UVC. Nathan York, Daniel Withers, Guastaferro, Josh Luther, Blake Withers and Sean Simonson all hit singles.
Luther and Simonson had RBIs. Santiam Christian left seven runners on base.
UVC is scheduled to host Elkton at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday in a Special District 4 game. The Monarchs will host Riddle/Days Creek in a doubleheader on Friday night.
S. Christian 010 100 5 — 7 10 5
UVC 000 401 0 — 5 6 4
Roth, Kutsch (6) and Beem; Guastaferro, N. York (7) and Shaver. W — Kutsch. L — Guastaferro. 2B — Roth (SC), Kutsch (SC).