KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. — A big first inning propelled the Klamath Union Pelicans past Elmira 16-1 to open the OSAA 4A Baseball State Championships at Leo J. Bocchi Field.
The Skyline champion Pelicans scored eight runs in the opening inning, which started with Chris McGahan poking a double to right field. Following Jack Bell and Kody Kuhlman walking, Marcus Paschal singled to left to score two runs. Joe Whisler picked up an RBI scoring Kuhlman, then scored a batter later when Donavin Weiser’s double brought in two more runs.
Weiser scored after Justin Willhite reached on an error following KU committing its first two outs of the inning. That is when McGahan came up to bat for the second time.
Audio: McGahan scores an inside-the-park home run/960 the Sports Legend:
McGahan went back to the same spot as his first hit, scored Willhite and himself and KU led 8-0 after one inning.
In conjunction with Kuhlman’s second strong postseason start, the Pelicans controlled the game. Kuhlman limited Elmira to just one hit, his second straight one-hitter, and allowed a run. He fanned seven batters in five innings and pitched to his 10th win of the year. Weiser pitched two innings, allowing only one hit and striking out two.
Elmira’s Travis Boggs took the loss, allowing eight hits and seven earned runs, while striking out four and walking five. Brice Keeler took over after four innings, but only achieved one out in the nine batters he faced. Keeler gave up four hits and three earned runs. Chris Engholm went the final 1 2/3 innings, striking out three of the five batters faced.
McGahan finished 4-for-4 at the plate with two RBI and scoring three runs. He had two singles, a double and the inside-the-park home run. McGahan came close to a triple, but his hit – again to right field – was called back when the pitcher balked before delivering.
Audio: McGahan’s postgame interview/960 the Sports Legend:
Whisler had three hits, all singles, finishing 3-for-5 with two RBI and three runs scored. Paschal ended 2-for-4 with a game-high three RBI.
Jessep Fay and Keeler had the only hits for Elmira (17-9).
Klamath Union (19-6) is the No. 3 seed in its portion of the OSAA bracket and now faces the No. 7 Henley Hornets on Friday at 4:30 p.m. at Leo J. Bocchi Field (960 the Sports Legend).
Henley upset No. 2 Philomath 12-4 on Wednesday. Philomath (19-6) came in No. 4 in the OSAA state rankings, making it the second straight top six opponent Henley (13-13) has defeated. The Hornets knocked off sixth-ranked South Umpqua 7-2 in the play-in round.
Audio: Henley head coach Tim Cleland on his team’s play the last two games:
KU won both all three meetings with Henley this season, winning 11-3 on Apr. 10 in the Skyline Conference opener. Later that month, the Pelicans won 9-5 and 12-1 in a doubleheader.
Henley, though, has won six of its last eight since, scoring double digit runs in all but one of the victories.
Box Score – OSAA 4A Baseball State Championships Round 1 – Klamath Union 16, Elmira 1
NOTE: Long was 0-for-3, not 1-for-4.