There are still three games left in the regular season, but the Knappa Loggers are already in “state title” mode — giving up very few runs, while scoring lots of their own.
The Loggers were at their best in a Friday afternoon doubleheader at Teevin Field, where Knappa swept Portland Christian 15-3, 8-0.
Ranked No. 1 in the latest 2A coaches poll, Knappa improves to 15-0 atop the Northwest League baseball standings, with Neah-Kah-Nie second at 13-2. The Loggers and Pirates have a three-game series this week to finish the regular season. A Neah-Kah-Nie sweep would result in a league championship for the Pirates — but that would be highly unlikely and next to impossible, as the Loggers hold a record of 114 wins, three losses in league play over the last six years.
With Friday’s sweep, the Loggers have won 15 games in a row (nine via the 10-run mercy rule), and 35 straight victories in league play going back to 2017.
The Royals actually held a 3-2 lead early in Friday’s first game.
And Portland Christian pitcher Andrew Dailey had an 0-2 count on Knappa’s Ryson Patterson with two outs and the bases loaded in the bottom of the second, and was a strike away from getting out of the inning with a 3-3 tie.
But, Dailey walked Patterson to force in a run, and the Loggers proceeded to score six more runs for a 10-3 lead.
Knappa finished with 12 hits off two Royal pitchers, while Logger starter Logan Flues allowed six hits with four strikeouts and one walk over five innings.
In the nightcap, Knappa’s Eli Takalo and Tristin Wallace combined on a three-hit shutout. Takalo struck out 10 and gave up one walk and three hits in six innings.
Shaun Lackey had three of Knappa’s nine hits, while Patterson had a triple and Logan Bartlett had a three-run homer.
The Loggers stole bases at will, finishing with 17 on the day. Knappa’s leader in steals, Bartlett, had four stolen bases in Game 1.