Conor Harber’s 2019 baseball season went into the month of October, as the 2012 graduate of Astoria High School pitched his latest game Wednesday night for Acereros del Norte.
And his last start of the year turned out to be Game 7 of the Mexican League championship series, between the “Steelers of the North” and the “Leones de Yucatan,” in the Mexican equivalent of the World Series.
Acereros del Norte was the ultimate victor, scoring a 9-5 win over Yucatan to give the team its first Mexican League championship since Acereros was founded in 1974.
And Harber played a huge role in their drive to the title.
The Astoria grad — who has played in numerous cities since his days on the North Coast — finished one of his longest seasons ever by making six starts in the playoffs.
Managed by former Tacoma Rainiers manager Pat Listach, the Acereros run to the championship went against the odds, as the team faced elimination in all three playoff series.
They trailed Tijuana 3-2 in the semifinalsand were down 3-2 against Yucatan in the championship series.
No. 71 on the Acereros roster, Harber got the start in Wednesday’s Game 7. He only gave up two hits, but both were home runs. An unfortunate error on Acereros extended one inning, in which Yucatan took advantage with a three-run homer to tie the contest.
Acereros broke a 5-5 tie with a run in the sixth, two in the seventh and one more in the eighth. Harber pitched five-and-a-third innings and finished with a no-decision, but capped his 2019 season with a great finish.
In his last 10 appearances of the year, Harber had a 4-2 record, with a 3.19 earned run average over 59.1 innings pitched, with 54 strikeouts and 18 walks.
Hunt leads the Geoducks
Another Astoria graduate, Chloee Hunt (Class of 2016), is in the midst of a huge season for the Evergreen State College volleyball team.
A senior middle blocker for the Geoducks, Hunt currently leads the Cascade Collegiate Conference with a .364 hitting percentage.
She has started 16 of 18 matches and leads Evergreen in points (178.0). She is first on the team in solo blocks (12), block assists (50)and fourth in kills (141).
In their latest match, Evergreen lost to Northwest University in four sets, but Hunt had 20 kills with a .500 hitting percentage.
Hunt will play basketball this winter for Evergreen, while her brother Ian will be in his freshman season with the Evergreen men’s basketball team.
Mitchell named Athlete of the Week
Kaylee Mitchell, a sophomore on the Seattle Pacific cross-country team, was recently named the Great Northwest Athletic Conference female Athlete of the Week — for the second straight week.
Mitchell, who attended Astoria High School before transferring to Sprague, ran to an individual title in the elite Women’s Invitational division at the Capital Cross Challenge in Sacramento last Saturday.
The win followed a first-place finish at the Pacific Lutheran Invitational a week earlier.
Saturday’s race in Sacramento was a national-caliber meet, featuring eight teams ranked among the top 25 in NCAA Division II, along with a handful of Division 1 schools, including California of the Pac-12.
The 6-kilometer race (3.72 miles) had 322 runners, and Mitchell beat all of the others to the finish line, posting a 6K personal-best of 20 minutes, 30.2 seconds. She took the lead at about the two-mile mark and was in control the rest of the way, beating runner-up Jenny Sandoval of San Jose State by three seconds.
“Once she got up the lead pack, she knew what to do,” said Seattle Pacific distance coach Chris Reed. “And once she took the lead, she did it with confidence and conviction. It was a remarkable race. (Mitchell) ran with confidence and she ran with passion. It was incredible to watch.”
Her team finished eighth out of 40 teams.
Other local athletes competing in fall sports at the collegiate or professional levels:
Josiah Hirsch, Fr., Occidental football
Madi Landwehr, So., Clackamas CC volleyball
Keldon Littell, RS-So., Oregon State football
Jeramy Poyer, Sr., Dickinson State football
Jordan Poyer, Buffalo Bills
Henry Samuelson, Fr., George Fox football
Lizzy Barnes, Jr., Guilford soccer
Travis Fenton, Fr., Western Oregon football
Alexander Teubner, R-Fr., Boise State football
Tori Tomlin, Fr., Linn-Benton volleyball
Ethan Personius, Fr., Evergreen soccer
Regional athletes competing in fall sports:
Megan Bunn, Sr., Eastern Oregon volleyball
Kimberly Jordan, So., Clackamas CC soccer
Twister McComas, Jr., Western Oregon football
Ellie Nieland, So., Centralia soccer
Josiah Ochoa, Fr., Pacific football
Zach Kress, So., Linfield football
Tristan Bennett, Fr., Western Oregon football
August Davidson, Fr. SW Oregon cross country
Tea Chatelain, So., NW Christian cross country
Maria Alberto, Fr., Mt. Hood cross country
Breana Edwards, So., Indiana U. volleyball
Johnathan Guisinger, Jr., George Fox cross country
Scappoose (former Cowapa League athletes)
Alyssa Bakkensen, So., Linfield soccer
Lucy Davidson, Sr., U. Portland soccer
Tevin Jeannis, R-Fr., Oregon football
James Jones, R-Fr., Eastern Oregon football
John Kavulich, So., U. Portland cross country
David Krupsky, Jr., Western Oregon football
Gavin Larson, Fr., Western Oregon football
Terrance Lewis, Fr., Linfield football
David Mayo, New York Giants
Connor McNabb, Fr., Linfield football
Natalie Muth, Sr., U. Portland soccer
Austin Norgaard, Fr., Pacific cross country
Mason Smiens, Fr., Western Oregon football
Jerad Toman, Fr., Portland State football
Phoebe Brown, So., Portland State cross country
Dylan Dickson, Fr., Clackamas CC cross country
Alejandro Herrera, Fr., SW Oregon soccer
Carter Kunert, Fr., Lane CC cross country
Zachary Macias, Sr., Pacific football
Kaler Moore, R-Jr., Eastern Oregon football
Kara Putman, So., Pacific cross country
Itzel Vazquez, Fr., Pacific cross country
Jordan Zweifel, Jr., Pacific volleyball
Chloe Brock, Fr., George Fox soccer
Regan Dean, Jr., Linfield volleyball
Taylor Isaac, Fr., Pacific cross country
Taylor Menkens, So., Seattle Pacific soccer
Jakob Pruitt, Jr., Western Oregon football
Ben Robbins, R-Fr., Southern Oregon football