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WALLOWA/IMBLERíS ANDREW FULLERTON throws the ball to first as Adrianís Juan Munoz slides into second in the Cougarsí 9-1 win Friday in Union. CASEY KELLAS / The Observer
UNION — It came down to the final game of the season to determine which two teams would represent the Special District 7 in the 2A/1A state playoffs.
But with Union/Cove’s 19-2 drubbing of Pine Eagle Friday in the second league five-way of the year, it will be the Bobcats and Cougars of Wallowa/Imbler that will travel for playoff games Wednesday.
Had the Bobcats not won by five or more runs, it would have come down to a coin toss between the Cougars, Huskies and Bobcats to decide which two teams would make the playoffs.
Union/Cove will play at top-seeded Kennedy, while Wallowa/Imbler will play at fourth-seeded Stanfield/Echo.
Elgin, which finished with an identical 9-3 league record as the Cougars and Bobcats, had its season end due to the OSAA’s RPI point system.
Cougars 3, Bobcats 2 (8 innings)
Wallowa/Imbler made the move of the day in Friday’s opener.
Had the Cougars lost to the Bobcats, the Cougars would have all but assured Elgin a spot in the state playoffs assuming the Huskies could take care of business later in the day against Adrian and Pine Eagle.
But the Cougars wanted to control its own fate.
Wallowa/Imbler broke their scoreless game in the fourth inning on an RBI single by Casey Robertson.
Union/Cove responded in the top of the seventh when two runs scored on a Braxten Anderson single to put the Bobcats on top, 2-1.
But Wallowa/Imbler didn’t go away, and was able to tie the game in the bottom of the seventh. Kody Swift led off with a walk then advanced to second on a balk by Kaleb Poor.
Following a Jessy Lawrence groundout, Kyle Johnson hit a hard shot to second base where Brazin Wellington couldn’t come up with it.
Swift was able to come home to score as the ball went into center field and the Cougars knotted it up 2-2 to send the game to extra innings.
After the Bobcats went down in order in the top of the eight, Andrew Fullerton was hit by a pitch to start things off in the bottom of the inning for Wallowa/Imbler.
Fullerton swiped second base before Wesley Conrad ended the game on an RBI single to lift the Cougars to victory.
Fullerton picked up the win, going five innings and striking out five after replacing Conrad after three innings. Poor struck out seven for Union/Cove.
Conrad was three for four at the plate.
Cougars 9, Antelopes 1
Adrian took an early 1-0 lead with a run in the first inning.
The Antelopes held that lead until the sixth inning when Fullerton tied the game on an overthrow at third base on a steal attempt.
Robertson followed that with a home run to left-centerfield and just like the Cougars were up 2-1.
The Cougars added seven more runs in the seventh inning.
Conrad, Robertson, Swift, Riley Graves and Johnson all had RBIs in the final inning.
Robertson finished three for four with three RBIs. Joe Griffin picked up the win, striking out nine in six innings of work.
Paxton Shira took the loss, going 6 2/3 and sitting down five.
Huskies 6, Antelopes 0
Elgin had no trouble with Adrian. The Huskies took the lead in the third inning on an RBI single by Drake Davidson and added to it on a bases-loaded walk by Kyle Ludwig.
Davidson scored a run in the fifth inning on a bad pickoff attempt to make it a 3-0 advantage for the Huskies. Elgin then added three more runs in the seventh, the last of which came on an RBI groundout by Andrew Naughton.
Davidson got the win on the mound, striking out six in four innings of work.
Naughton sat down four in three innings of relief. Adrian’s Jason Strauch struck out seven in six-plus innings on the mound.
Huskies 5, Spartans 0
The Huskies continued to roll in their second game of the day. Justin Harris pitched an absolute gem for Elgin.
Making his final start of his high school career, Harris allowed just one hit and struck out 17 in seven innings of work.
The lone hit was an infield single by Justin Seal in the fourth inning.
Sheldon Blair got the Huskies on the board in the first inning, before an RBI single by Ludwig made it 2-0.
An RBI single by Casey Furgerson stretched the lead to 3-0 in the second inning.
A sacrifice fly by Ludwig in the third, then and RBI double by Davidson in the fifth, rounded out the scoring for Elgin.
Jon Thorn took the loss for Pine Eagle, striking out five in the process.
Bobcats 19, Spartans 2
Union/Cove rolled over Pine Eagle in the final game of the day.
After the Spartans got two quick runs in the first inning, Ty Coon led off the bottom of the first with a solo home run to get the Bobcats on the board.
Union/Cove added three more runs in the inning and never looked back.
Poor hit a solo home run of his own in the third inning.
Coon go the win, going three innings and striking out three.
Dalton Opie and Brenlon Moore both struck out two in an inning of work each.