Must win now Sweep drops Buff baseball in IMC
Winning on the road kept Madras in the Intermountain Conference baseball race.
The White Buffalos won four of five IMC away contests, including a 7-3 victory at Crook County on Tuesday, April 24. The wins stopped at Pendleton on Saturday with dominating pitching and lots of hitting by the host Buckaroos.
The sweep leaves Madras in a must-win scenario to reach the state playoffs. The Buffs enter this week 5-6 in IMC play with three games left.
Two are at home, starting with Bend on Tuesday, May 1 (played after press time). Madras then travels to IMC leader Summit this Tuesday (May 8) and finishes up the regular season on Thursday, May 10.
The IMC sends four teams to the 5A state playoffs. Those playoffs start on Friday, May 18, for the third and fourth-place teams with loser-out games. All remaining playoff teams play on Tuesday, May 22.
"If we don't win out, we need a ton of help," Madras coach Kevin Cave said.
Pendleton 14-12, Madras 0-9: First came the worst loss of the season. Then the Buckaroos outslugged Madras to complete the sweep.
The shutout in the opener was the first against the Buffs this season. Madras was averaging 6.8 runs a game going into the doubleheader.
Yet Pendleton pitcher Taylor West limited the visiting Buffs to just one hit and no runs.
"He threw one of the better breaking balls we've seen this season," Cave said. "Plus, he kept throwing strikes."
Pendleton took control with a seven-run first inning. The Buckaroos duplicated that output in the second game.
Madras put together its own big innings, taking a brief 9-7 lead after the top of the fourth.
Turner Gill drilled a three-run double in the fourth, one of his three hits for the game. The double was part of a six-run outburst. Darrell Ceciliani also had a run-scoring double.
Jake Prow, Bobby Thurby, Ethan Adams and Austin Say added two hits each. The Buffs had 14 in the game.
Pendleton had its own big hits with two home runs by Bobby Corey (after one in the opener). Kenny Melton also hit a homer in the nightcap.
The sweep moved the Buckaroos alone into second place. Pendleton has a two-game lead in the loss column over Hermiston and The Dalles entering this week.
Madras 7, Crook County 2: What Jake Prow started, he also finished in the Tuesday, April 24, road win.
The junior tied the game with a solo homer to straightaway center, over the nine-foot high fence.
"It was a curve. I stayed on it and hit it to center field," said Prow of the first of his three hits. He also hit a run-scoring double in the fifth and a single in the sixth.
The double was part of a five-run inning. It started with Zach Quinn's homer just inside the right field foul pole.
Two more hits, a walk and a hit batter followed. Ceciliani added a two-run single after Prow's double. An infield error later allowed Ceciliani to score.
Those runs were more than enough for the pitching duo of Albert Adams and Prow. Adams started, pitching into the fifth, allowing four hits and one earned run.
Prow helped his teammate out in the fifth after the Cowboys scored an unearned run. He induced an around-the-horn double play, started by Gill at third to Jansen Harrington at second to Albert Adams at first.
Prow went on to strike out five, not allowing a hit after catching into the fifth.
"I'm used to it," Prow said. "I worked at getting into better shape to do it this year. Sometimes late in the game I'll get tired, but striking out a guy helps me forget about being tired."
Earlier in the game, Say ranged into shallow center to make a twisting catch to take away a bloop single.