STATE CHAMPS!

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The Keizer Celts Senior Americans show off their latest hardware, a state championship trophy captured last weekend in a win over the only team that dealt them a loss during a 22-1 season. (Submitted photo)

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

The Keizer Celts Senior American team, a KYSA ball club, captured a state title in JBO baseball Sunday, July 29.

The team rebounded to overcome the same team, Central, that dealt them their only loss of the season in a district tournament the week before.

“The kids played as though they had nothing to lose and came out on top,” said Brian Aicher, head coach. “There was no question by the end of the tournament they were the best team in the state.”

The Celts started out the state tournament by winning two games on Thursday, July 26, against Yamhill Carlton, 17-12, and Aloha, 13-3.

The team allowed no more than three runs in any game after its first contest with Yamhill in the state playoff tournament.

In the quarterfinal game, the Celts beat the No. 1 seed Sellwood, 3-2, led by a strong pitching effort by Trevor Gilbert and a two-run homer by Matt Ismay.

In the semifinal game against Central from Monmouth, Keizer won  8-3.  Aron Fisk, Tanner Gordon and Josh Hakes each had two hits each and Ismay  pitched a complete game for Keizer.

Central came out of the consolation bracket to set up a rematch with Keizer, but the Celts outplayed Central in the championship game to take a 10-3 victory and the state title.  Gordon pitched a complete game spreading four hits over seven innings, with five strikeouts and giving up one walk.  Wyatt Bigham banged out three hits for Keizer.

Aicher was proudest of the complete-team effort it took to seal up the state title.

“We didn’t have that one kid who could just blow everybody away,” he said. “The kids just came together and played flawless baseball throughout the state tournament.”

Players are: Tanner Gordon, Wyatt Bigham, Kolby Barker, Collin Young, Kyle Aicher, Trevor Gilbert, Matthew Ismay, Josh Hakes, Aaron Fisk-Engberg, Josiah Gilbert and Trent VanCleave.

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