KEIZER -- After falling short in the 5A state title game in 2017, the Crater Comets fought their way back to the title game and exorcised their demons, knocking off top-ranked Crescent Valley in the 2018 title game, 2-0.
Larson Kindreich dominated again on the mound, consistently having to pitch out of trouble. The lefty, who entered the game with 36 2/3 straight hitless innings thrown, got out of every jam he faced, stranding the bases loaded twice in the late innings. He struck out 14 in the complete game shutout. When he went out for the seventh inning, he had only 13 more pitches since he was approaching the OSAA limit of 100 in a game.
The offense broke through in the sixth inning after being no hit through the first five. Kindreich himself broke up the no-no with a base hit. With runners on first and second, Trae Frodge delivered the knockout punch, slugging a two-run double to right field, giving the Comets a 2-0 lead.
"I was just sitting there, looking fastball on that first pitch," Frodge said, "He said it would come and I knew it would, because the pitcher was off balance after the first two hitters, so I was just waiting for that fastball."
Crescent Valley loaded the bases in the sixth with one out, threatening to tie the game or take the lead, but Kindreich got a strike out and infield pop up to end the threat. The final out of the game came on a bunt attempt, on which Frodge made a dazzling play on the run to win the state title.
Head Coach Jay Campbell, who led the Comets to a state title in his second full season at the helm in 2007, said the will to win from a young team was incredible to see.
“We lost so many kids off last year’s team. I think that kind of goes unrecognized," Campbell said, "We had nine seniors last year. A lot of these guys weren’t even with us last year.”
Kindreich, who is all but guaranteed to be selected in next week's MLB Draft, said he will look back on this team as one that never gave up, especially after losing last year's state title game.
“We worked so hard and everyone really focused on that goal of a state championship and that’s what it takes to win it like this," Kindreich said, "I couldn’t be more proud.”
THE TWO-RUN DOUBLE GAVE CRATER THE 2 NOTHING LEAD…
BUT, THE RAIDERS LOADED THE BASES IN THE SIXTH, THREATENING TO TIE THE GAME…KINDREICH AS HE DID ALL DAY, PITCHED OUT OF IT AGAIN…GETTING A STRIKE OUT AND POP OUT TO END THE THREAT…
THREE OUTS TO GO…KINDREICH WENT BACK TO THE MOUND…
WITH TWO OUTS…AND JUST FIVE MORE PITCHES ALLOWED BY O-S-A-A RULES…KINDREICH DID THIS…
THE COMETS OUTLASTING THE RAIDERS FOR A GRITTY 2 NOTHING WIN AND THEIR FIRST STATE TITLE SINCE 2007…REDEMPTION FOR THEIR LOSS IN THE STATE TITLE GAME LAST SEASON.
- Crater Baseball Wins First State Title Since 2007
- Amateur Athlete: Larson Kindreich Leads Crater Baseball to State Title
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- Crater Alumnus Ryan Gipson Named Oregon State Baseball Assistant Coach
- Crater's Monroe Wins Gatorade State XC Runner of the Year
- Crater Girls Win Christmas Classic for Second Straight Year
- Roundball Wrap: Crater Pads State Contender Case with Road Win Over Thurston
- Cold-Shooting Crater Bounced in 5A State Semifinals
- Crater Sophomore Nathan Bittle Gets Scholarship Offer from Oregon State
- Faust Wins Long Jump, Toey Claims Three State Titles