By LANCE MASTERSON
Of the Keizertimes
Two former McNary baseball players played prominent roles when their current teams met in the semifinals of last month’s Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges tournament.
Nick Phillips is a closer for the Lane Community College Titans and played for the 2009 McNary state championship baseball team.
Chad Fahey graduated from McNary in 2008 and pulled double-duty for the Chemeketa Community College Storm as a pitcher and outfielder.
Phillips and Fahey were high school teammates in 2008.
In the semifinal match-up, the Titans prevailed, 2-1, with Phillips picking up his 14th save of the season. He led the NWAACC with 12 saves during the regular season.
The freshman entered the game in the eighth with a runner on second and no outs. He got the first two batters he faced to ground out and the third to loft a fly to the outfield.
In the ninth, Phillips struck out the first two batters. Then saw two runners reach base before recording his third strikeout of the inning.
Phillips’s earned run average of 0.72 was 10th lowest in the NWAACC. He surrendered nine hits all season.
Fahey kept his team in the game with a solo home run. He also doubled for the Storm’s only other hit.
The former teammates did not face each other during the season. Nor did Phillips face former teammates Sheldon Austria and Jordan Keeker, who suit up for Linn-Benton Community College.
A fourth member of the 2009 Celts team, Brian Kottek, red-shirted for CCC this year.
Phillips expects to return to LCC next season while Fahey is weighing his offers to play ball at a four-year school.
Both men will spend summer break playing in the West Coast Portland League this summer, but not on the same team.
LCC lost to Lower Columbia Community College of Washington in the finals.