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Buff baseball seeks second straight trip to 5A state playoffs

Due to snow, Madras baseball wasn't quite as busy as expected during spring break.
   The White Buffalos went 2-1 last week to finish off the nonleague season at 8-2. Three of those victories were by one run with the two losses by a combined three runs (7-5 to Klamath Union on March 22 and 2-1 at Henley last Saturday).
   "The nonleague schedule confirmed what we thought about the team," Madras coach Stann Dmytryk said. "We knew we had several quality (pitching) arms and the nonleague schedule showed it. We thought we'd be using guys three, four or five innings at a time. That's proved effective so far."
   Madras outscored its foes 71-28 in nonleague games. The Buffs finished the nonleague schedule with a 1.85 earned run average and a .281 batting average.
   Four Madras hitters were at .400 or better so far: Albert Adams at .478 (10-21), Jake Prow at .417 (10-24), Turner Gill at .407 (11-27) and Darrell Ceciliani at .400 (12-30). Gill leads the Buffs in runs batted in at 17 while Ceciliani has 10 and Albert Adams nine.
   The first-year head coach's concern was inconsistent hitting. It showed in 2-1 games last week -- a victory against Cascade on Thursday and a loss to Henley in Saturday's second game.
   "We've tended to go in streaks where we've hit really well and then haven't hit well," Dmytryk said. "Perhaps going into our regular league schedule will help."
   The 14-game Intermountain Conference season has team playing almost exclusively on Tuesdays, Thursdays or Saturdays. The only exception is a season-ending Friday, May 9 contest at Mountain View. One nonleague game remains, at Burns on Tuesday, April 15 after playing an IMC doubleheader at Hermiston the previous Saturday (April 12).
   Madras opened IMC play by hosting Bend on Tuesday, April 1 (played after press time). Next up is a Thursday contest at Summit and Tuesday, April 8, home game against Mountain View (both starting at 4:30 p.m.).
   Madras 2, Cascade 1: The Buffs' only game in the La Pine Thaw tourney moved to Mountain View was memorable for Zach Quinn. The senior threw five no-hit innings, but came out as Madras was expecting to play three more games in the next two days.
   Instead, a Friday contest against host La Pine was canceled due to snow.
   "That's the fourth time we've taken a guy out with a no-hitter this season," said Dmytryk, referring to Prow pitching four no-hit innings against Klamath Union and Ceciliani twice (five innings against Marshfield on March 24 and four innings at Henley on Saturday). "We thought we might be using Zach on Friday or Saturday."
   The key for Quinn was throwing first-pitch strikes, Dmytryk said.
   "Zach had good movement on his curve," the Buff coach said. "He kept the ball around the (Cascade) hitter's knees."
   Albert Adams finished up the game, allowing a sixth-inning run on two hits for a save.
   Madras 5-1, Henley 1-2: The Buff offense had its moments in the first game, but not the second.
   Madras put together rallies in the second and seventh innings to earn the victory.
   Spencer Ellsbury started a rally in the second with a single, scoring on Ethan Adams' triple. Ceciliani's single then scored Adams.
   The Buffs added to that lead in the seventh. Prow hit a double and Gill a triple for the first run. Singles by Quinn and Ethan Adams scored two more runs.
   A trio of Madras pitchers combined to allow just three hits and one earned run. Ceciliani threw four hitless innings. striking out six while allowing six walks and hitting two Henley batters to gain the win. Quinn allowed one hit and struck out one in his two scoreless innings.
   Henley's Mike Mastroianni had the dominating pitching performance in the second game. He allowed just one unearned run in the first and retired the final 11 Buff hitters he faced. Mastroianni struck out 12 while allowing two walks.
   Madras' first-inning run was set up by an error. Rodney Smith reached base on the miscue and scored on Prow's single.
   Buff pitchers Martin Brown and Quinn allowed just one earned run as Madras had five errors. Brown went the first five innings, giving up an unearned run in the third and an earned run in the fifth.