Canby’s Finest Lead Portland Barbers to AAA Baseball State Victory

Spread the love

Star Students: Portland Barbers
By Tyler Francke, Contributing Writer
Photo by Mike Eyster Courtesy Jennifer Noffsinger
Presented by Roth Heating & Cooling

Baseball Team Portland Barbers in action

Four local sluggers and recent Canby High School grads competed in the Northwest Regional baseball championship last month after helping capture the Oregon American Legion state title as part of the prestigious Portland Barbers AAA baseball team.

The Barbers (39-6) defeated the favored Emerald Challengers (50-8) from Eugene in the final state championship game Wednesday, July 26, by a score of 10-6.

Founded by and named in honor of Don and Alison Lovell, owner of The Barbers barbershop chain, the Barbers have been one of the state’s top AAA baseball squads since being established in 2010, but this marks the program’s first state title.

Their 2023 roster included four former Cougars: pitcher Jason Noffsinger, 19, Class of 2022; twins Hunter and Logan Robinson, 17, who play outfield and shortstop; and catcher Owen Tilden, 18 — all of whom graduated earlier this year.

The Challengers had swept their way through the tournament en route to the Oregon Legion finals, outscoring opponents 33-17, including a 13-5 triumph in the semis. To win the title, the Challengers would have had to defeat the Barbers just once.

But the Barbers flipped the script in their first tilt, trading leads throughout the first six innings before shocking a packed Swede Johnson Stadium in North Eugene with a two-run home run by Cameron Masters-Doble, a 2023 Lakeridge grad, in the seventh to seal the 7-6 win.

In the finale, the Barbers jumped out to an insurmountable lead on the strength of a four-run third inning led by Mountainside grads Eric Altmark (4-for-7) and Ian Salbeda (three-run double), ultimately clipping Emerald by a score of 10-6. It was the first time this summer that the Challengers had lost back-to-back games.

The outcome may have stunned the Challengers and their home crowd fans — but it did not surprise Jason Noffsinger.

“We knew they were a good team, but we also knew that when we had lost to them previously, we had beaten ourselves,” he said.

Baseball Players pose after championship game

As for the 1-0 series hole in which they found themselves at the beginning of the series, the Barbers were prepared.

“We had everything lined up from day one in case this situation arose, so come championship day, we had all of our best arms and bats lined up ready to go,” he said. “Everyone knew we were there to send them packing.”

Jason said he is particularly thrilled to be sharing the experience with three other Canby natives. All four have played together for years, growing up through the ranks of club ball and at Canby High School.

“The twins played a huge role in our success,” he said. “They really stepped up and got the job done when needed. Owen struggled a little at the plate, but has never been better defensively. That played a huge part in beating Eugene, especially limiting their run game, which is how they win most of their games.”

Noffsinger was limited in the state tourney with an arm injury, but was cleared to throw shortened outings as needed in the Northwest Regional Tournament at Hladky Memorial Stadium in Gillette, Wyoming.

The boys from Oregon competed well against the region’s best, making it to the third round before falling in a close game to the Colorado state champs, 4-3. Congratulations to the team on a fantastic season!