The Henley Hornets baseball and softball teams were a dominant force all season long with intense gameplay, unity and domination over their opponents. However, at the state championship the game proved to be more difficult for both teams.
All four teams had something to prove but ultimately only one team in both contests came out on top.
Volcano’s Stadium just north of Salem, Oregon played host to the OSAA 4A Baseball Championships. Although Volcano’s Stadium is roughly a 4-hour drive north for Henley fans, several hundred made the drive north to watch the game. As good as the fans were for the Hornets the Braves had twice as many fans. Volcano’s Stadium is roughly an hour’s drive from Banks.
#2 Henley was going for their 10th baseball championship in school history and have won the championship four of the last five years, check source
The #1 Banks Braves had a lot to play for this season. Already this year, they had won the 4A State Football Championship, the 4A State Basketball Championship, and needed to win at the 4A State Baseball Championship to complete the trifecta.
Henley came out strong and ready to play during their first at bat. Placing pressure on the Banks defense early.
Andrew Reynolds doubled down the line to start the game. Hayden Rasica walked, moving Reynolds to second – Reynolds then stole third base. Blake Loney grounded out to the Banks second basemen and scored Reynolds on an RBI and advancing Ha. Rasica to second.
Reynolds would be the only Hornet to cross home plate all game.
In the Bottom of the first, Banks came out just as hot as Henley putting up 2 runs and never looked back. Banks shut out Henley for the remainder of the game.
When everything was said and done and the final out was made, banks came out victorious defeating the Henley hornets 3-1.
Third baseman, Trevor Rote received Henley’s honors as the OSAA / OnPoint Community Credit Union 4A Baseball State Championship Moda Health Player of the Game. Rote had two hits at three at bats for the Hornets.
More photos below.
Henley has history with La Grande and was looking for a little revenge against the Tigers Jane Sanders Stadium on the University of Oregon Campus in Eugene.
Last year the two faced off in the State Championship game where Henley lost. Two-years ago, they met in a semifinal game where Henley defeated La Grande and went on to win the State Championship.
Lilly Poe was in the pitching circle for the Hornets and had a tough time getting strikeouts. With only four on the day, Poe needed help from her fielders.
Allie Brock was the starting ace for the Tigers. Brock had 12 strike outs on the day.
Through the first four innings, the #2 Hornets had difficulty getting runners in scoring position. When they did, the Hornets had trouble getting them home. Finally, in the fifth inning, the Hornets were able to get on board following the #1 Tigers walking the bases loaded and then walking Maddie Perez bringing Beth Hamilton across the plate.
Carlie Moore grounded out to end the inning with 3 Hornets left on base.
In the top of the sixth, Henley was able to put another run on the board following a single by Jessica Northcutt and Alex Sharp. Katie Majors connected for a fielder’s choice at 3rd which advanced the runners. Lilly Poe was then able to hit a single allowing Northcutt to score. Maddie Moore was brought in to pinch run for Poe. The inning ended following a stalled offence by the Hornets stranding 3 on base.
In the final inning Henley down by two, and the Hornets just did not have an answer for Tiger pitcher Allie Brock. Brock finished the game on fire for the Tigers - getting Perez to strike out swinging, Moore to pop up to short, and struck out Northcutt swinging.
La Grande defeated Henley 4-2 and claimed their second consecutive 4A State Championship.
More photos below.
Both the boys and the girls were solid all year long but we’re not able to make it all come together at the last game to bring a championship back home to Henley. However, not everyone can be winners. It is easy to forget that in a championship bracket format all, but one team will lose their final game. Which means, all but one of the playoff teams seniors will lose their final high school game.
Nonetheless, both Hornet Baseball and Hornet Softball should hold their heads high having finished an amazing season that allowed both teams the honor of bringing home new hardware for the famed Henley High School trophy cases.
Seniors can graduate knowing they all did a fantastic and remarkable job this season.
The Hornets Softball team will graduate five players: Emily Majors, Kaila Mick, Lilly Poe, and Jessica Northcutt.
The Hornets Baseball team will graduate six players: Travis Gilliland, Blake Loney, Jagger Graham, Andrew Reynolds, Hayden Rasica, and Jeffrey Hudson.
Congratulations Hornets on an amazing year.