Sheldon searches for first title on the diamond

Sheldon High School has had quite a string of championship success but oddly enough the baseball program has never finished at the top of the heap.

Sheldon knocked off Roseburg on Tuesday in the 6A semifinals to advance to Saturday's title game against Clackamas at 5:00 in Keizer.

It will be the first championship appearance for the program on the diamond since 1966. Assistant coach Jim Fryback played on that '66 team that lost 4-2 to Hillsboro, but they haven't been back ever since.

Fryback was a sophomore who played for the legendary Mel Krause who took over the program at the University of Oregon before it was cut in 1981.

The 2001 Sheldon team, coached by Fryback, was one out away from heading to the title game before eventually state champion Lakeridge rallied for the win.

Senior shortstop and catcher Cooper Stiles said, "It's a great opportunity for us. This is what we've wanted this whole season. We've just been battling. Our whole motto is why not.? Why not have it be us. It's what we're trying to do."

"It's just been our competitiveness and not wanting to lose and wanting to win at all costs no matter what. Stay in the game and win," added senior pitcher/1B Brett Nielsen.

Pleasant Hill last won it all in 1946, the Billies play Horizon Christian for the 3A title at 5:00 on Friday.

In 2A/1A, Umpqua Valley Christian will play for a crown as will Yoncalla softball.