>Victory throws top of league into logjam, keeps Madras alive for playoffs
Madras High starting pitcher Kelly Devine provided the baseball White Buffalos a performance worthy of a divine label on Tuesday, April 29. Handcuffing and otherwise controlling Wilsonville for most of that day's Tri-Valley League game, Devine earned a 2-1 win.
Yet, it took a strike from sophomore right fielder Devin Reece, coach Bruce Reece's son, on a seventh-inning fly ball with runners at second and third to maintain the Buffs 2-1 lead. Wilsonville went from having two runners in scoring position to being stuck with a runner at second and two outs after Gary Villa coerced the fly to Devin Reece.
Villa relieved Devine when the starter finally tired in the seventh. Villa saved Devine's win by first getting the fly to right then forcing another fly out to end the game.
Reece had already caught four or five flies served up by Devine but none rivaled the seventh-inning play in its importance. It allowed Devine to win and Madras to move into the Tri-Valley League baseball playoff picture.
Madras helped La Salle move into a tie for first with Wilsonville, at 6-2, just ahead of 5-3 The Dalles.
By improving to 4-4 in Tri-Valley play, Madras temporarily tied Gladstone and Sherwood for fourth (fifth is the final playoff spot). That tie, unfortunately for Madras fans, was broken by Gladstone beating the Buffs May 2.
La Salle and Wilsonville won games postponed by rain when they were originally scheduled to create the tie for first.
Madras was limited by Wilsonville's pitching in the battle at Madras too but came up with the runs they needed in the bottom of the third.
Devine doubled for Madras's only extra-base hit against Wilsonville. He sent a drive past the right fielder to start the third inning before advancing to third on a dropped third strike on which Matt Ellsbury drew a throw. Devine was then driven in by Ryan Fivecoats, who continued his tour of the bases on a balk and wild pitch which left his close enough to saunter home on Owen Danzuka's single to right.