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Baseball Buffs explode after implosion

Madras marches to 12-6 win following lop-sided loss

Sports Editor
   
   Madras turned its lastest baseball action nearly inside out Monday as it exploded against Estacada after more or less imploding in a Thursday, April 17, Tri-Valley baseball game against La Salle.
   Madras High's White Buffalos used a defense that made fewer errors and collected just as many hits as in its previous fiasco as it beat playoff contending Estacada, 12-6, Monday at Madras. Winning 12-6, after once leading 7-1, moved the Madras team back in the league's playoff picture.
   Three-run outbursts in both the second and fourth innings established the early Madras lead before starting pitcher Kelly Devine ran into trouble in the fifth inning. After four strong frames, Madras needed its advantage to fend off a four-run fifth by Estacada.
   Devine dispersed trouble with his pitching in the first inning after a fielding miscue behind him presented Estacada one run and a chance at a couple more. Devine stranded two Ranger runners that frame and another in the ensuing innings.
   A senior, Devine won the game thanks to his teammates staking him to a lead which a couple of walks and hits he gave up in the fifth only diminished rather than evaporated.
   Madras head coach Bruce Reece called on another senior, Guy Reynolds, to relieve Devine when Estacada drew within two in its fifth inning. Reynolds proved in the right situation to be credited with a save.
   Owen Danzuka closed against Estacada in the seventh for Madras. The switch to Danzuka left whoever was coming up looking at a new pitcher. He wound up striking out two Rangers, after hitting one.
   Madras unleashed its hitters in the second inning after a coy first frame.
   John Cleveland connected well enough that his grounder had so much top spin when it hit a bump on the infield that it bounded too high for Estacada's third baseman to nab. With him on, Reynolds was hit by a pitch for the first of two times in the game. Danzuka then nearly beat out a bunt that worked as a sacrifice. After a strike out, Ryan Fivecoat plinked a single into right field good for two runs batted in. Fivecoat used a throw to the plate by the English to skirt off to second before scoring on Vaugh Prow's single to right field that left the score 3-1.
   The middle of the Madras lineup, consisting of second-slot hitter Nate St. John, Devine and Joey McConnell ahead of Cleveland, chipped in with enough hits to provide a strong foundation to the win which improved Madras to 2-3 in league competition.
   Madras pulled to within a game of Estacada, which started the league season 3-0 before running into Wilsonville, which was selected second in the state in a recent coaches' poll. The Wildcats beat Estacada handily after nipping Madras just 12-10.
   Madras faces pivotal road games against defending state champion The Dalles plus Valley Catholic to close out this week, on Wednesday and Friday. If the Buffs break even to finish the first half of league play 3-4, or sweep to improve to 4-3, they will be in the midst of a battle for the fourth and fifth spots that are part of a playoff to determine the three participants in the state tournament for the TVL.