Another NWAACC baseball title for Bellevue? It sure is starting to look that way.
The top-ranked Bulldogs clinched a spot in Monday's championship round by blanking Lane 9-0 in the winner's bracket semifinal on Sunday at Story Field. Bellevue (36-13) became the only undefeated team in the tournament heading into Sunday night's game against Lower Columbia College and will face Mount Hood or LCC today for the title.
Entering Sunday's contest against the Red Devils, Bellevue had outscored its three tourney opponents 23-2, out-hit them 43-14 and had not allowed a run in 23 consecutive innings.
Against Lane (26-20), Bulldogs' starter Matt Cooper pitched Bellevue's second consecutive three-hit shutout, matching the feat accomplished by Adrian Sampson in a 3-0 victory over LCC on Saturday. Cooper struck out eight.
Jerad Casper was 3 for 5 with a double, Cory Urquhart 2 for 3 with a double, stolen base and three runs scored, and Andy Smith 2 for 4 with a home run, stolen base, four runs scored and two RBIs for the 'Dogs.
Bellevue entered the tourney batting .303 as a team and was hitting .364 through the win over Lane.
Mount Hood 2, Lane 1 (elimination)
The Saints (28-12) stayed alive and knocked Lane out of the tournament by taking advantage of four Titans errors.
The most lethal miscue was an errant throw in the bottom of the ninth which sailed out of play and allowed Southern Division MVP Alex Foulon to trot home with the winning run, breaking a 1-1 tie.
Lane took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second when Joe Offer singled to score Skip Spencer, but the Saints knotted it up when Nick Paxton scored on Trevor Cass' seventh-inning fielder's choice.
Matthew Pechmann went the distance for Mount Hood, allowing just three hits and one walk while striking out 11.
Foulon was 2 for 4.