Prospector Logan McCluskey, a sophomore, worked some magic at Malone Field, closing two games for the Grant Union/Prairie City baseball team’s double sweep of the Sherman/Arlington/Condon Huskies on Saturday 7-3 and 9-2.
Grant Union’s No. 1 pitcher Warner Robertson, a junior, took on the Huskies for six innings in game one.
Sherman’s Wade Fields pitched five innings for the Huskies with Cort Colby finishing.
Robertson singled in the bottom of the first, driving in leadoff hitter Tristan Morris, who had stolen second base.
The Prospectors were up 2-0, when the Huskies battled back with three runs in the top of the third.
In the bottom of the fourth, Morris turned the tables when he singled, and Peyton Neault and Russell Hodge scored runs to give Grant Union a 4-3 lead.
Robertson struck out a batter in the fifth with first baseman Roen Langum tagging a runner out and Hodge catching a fly ball for an out in left field.
Grant Union moved ahead 7-3 in the sixth when McCluskey singled for an RBI. Then Jacob Vaughan hit up the middle for an inside-the-park two-run homer.
With McCluskey back at the mound, Grant Union sealed the win with two strikeouts, and centerfielder Cole Deiter caught a fly ball.
Freshman Mason Morris pitched six innings in game two.
Grant Union head coach Doug Sharp said Morris’ fast ball “really moves.”
Sharp said sometimes the freshman has difficulty “commanding it, but when he’s on, it’s hard to square him up — he did a great job.”
The wind was whipping in the bottom of the sixth inning.
When McCluskey came in to pitch, there was one runner out, and the bases were loaded. He struck out the remaining two batters and left three runners on base.
Sharp said he thinks the Huskies were feeling defeated at the start of game two.
“They knew our kids were ready to play,” he said, adding, “Our guys were relentless.”
Langum, a senior, said when they got behind in game one, they didn’t get down on themselves.
“We came back and talked each other up and won it,” he said.
“We probably played the best baseball we’ve played in a long time,” said Vaughan, also a senior, who is catcher. “In the first game, it was our defense, and the second game our offense — we hit really well.”
Sharp said, when his team was behind, they continued to play with confidence.
“It doesn’t phase them,” he said.
“That’s actually a pretty good team,” he said of Sherman. “That first pitcher (Fields) was good. We knew it was going to be a tough challenge. The kids kept on battling.”
The Huskies are led by head coach Joe Justesen.
Grant Union was scheduled to face the Pilot Rock/Nixyaawii/Ukiah Rockets on Tuesday, April 30, in Pilot Rock, past press time.
The Prospectors are ranked No. 6 among OSAA’s 2A/1A teams. They are No. 1 in league (11-6 overall, 8-0 league), and the Rockets are No. 2 (10-4, 7-2).
Grant Union beat Pilot Rock 13-4 on April 10 in John Day.
“A lot could still happen,” Sharp said. “It’ll be a big game at their ballpark.”
Sharp said his top pitchers have only an inning or less left of pitches and will have to rest due to pitch-count rules, and likely Peyton Neault and/or Damion Young will take the mound.