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Madras tests top-ranked Sisters strongly

Baseball Buffs battle strongly in both games of doubleheader

by: Photo By Brian Liebenstein - Joey McConnell gets a good piece of the ball for Madras in an April 1 16-0 victory against Woodburn. Madras had a tougher time in a Saturday doubleheader against Sisters.


Sports Editor
   
   Madras High hitters failed to solve Sisters' pitchers often enough to win either game of Saturday's non-league high school baseball doubleheader at Sisters.
   Yet, they gave the top-ranked Outlaws all they could handle.
   Sisters survived with outbursts in each game. After using a five-run first inning to take a lead it barely held for a 7-6 win in the first game, Sisters required all of a six-run third inning to anchor a 7-5 win in game two.
   Some frustration of being outscored was tempered with the pride of having outhit Sisters in both games, 8-7 in the first and 6-4 in the second, for Madras coach Bruce Reece.
   But there were some areas in which Reece said he was still looking for improvement in from the play of the White Buffalos. Saturday's boxscores probably deceived some readers of other newspapers into thinking Sisters almost cruised, Reece indicated. But, Reece noted, the number of errors by Madras, two in the first game and four in the second, were only a part of the reason Sisters won.
   "There were different ways that we were kept from winning the game. Some of them we could have controlled, but there were a couple of things we just couldn't do anything about," Reece observed.
   Patrick Marston even mashed a home run for the Buffs at Sisters, only to have his hit prove fruitless. The Saturday doubleheader featured opportunities for the Buffs to have beaten Sisters twice, not just once. The hits by the likes of Marston and others, including three by freshman Vaughn Prow, kept Madras close.
   Though running into rocky ground in the third inning of that second game, Madras' starting pitcher, Kelly Devine, kept top-ranked Sisters under control for most of his start.
   "Our pitchers kept us in both gamees. All we had to do was field the ball a little better," said Reece.
   "Hitting wise, we're where we want to be," said Reece.
   The good hitting was foiled by fielding miscues for the Buffs in the games against Sisters.
   Madras created chances to upset Sisters -- With multiple hit days from varied sources. There just were not quite enough such chances converted.
   "We just need to keep swinging the bats," Reese said.
   Besides Marston, the Buffs banging out hits most regularly on Saturday included Vaughn Prow and Nathan St. John, who played just a couple innings before an ankle injury began acting up again and convinced Reece to put in Danzuka to catch to cut down on the activity of St. John.
   Arriving at the best defense for the beginning of Tri-Valley League competition, which begins Wednesday, April 9 at Wilsonville for Madras, was another goal that Reese said he felt was accomplished in the non-league games.
   A convincing 16-0 win over Woodburn's inexperienced squad had started the Buffs week on April 1.
   Hitting the ball was the order of the day for Madras. Almost everyone on the roster reached base.
   Vaughn Prow, a freshman being used at third and catcher by coach Reece, slugged his first home run. A virtual batch or base hits resonated off the Madras bats throughout the game. Guy Reynolds turned in another good outing on mound. The senior picked up his second complete game pitching win in less than two weeks.