Up, down start
After no-hitter, BUffs hit hard by defending IMC champs
Baseball's extremes already visited Madras in the opening two Intermountain Conference games.
A no-hitter by Jake Prow highlighted the White Buffalos' league opening 11-1 victory against Bend on Tuesday, April 1. Then Madras was thumped 15-5 by defending IMC champ Summit on Thursday at Vince Genna Stadium.
A demanding schedule looms in the coming week. The Buffs have a doubleheader at Hermiston on Saturday. Then a nonleague game at Burns follows on Tuesday, April 8. Madras returns to IMC action with a two-game series against The Dalles-Wahtonka -- playing at home on Thursday, April 17, and then traveling to TDW on Saturday, April 19.
Summit 15, Madras 5: The worst inning of the season came at the wrong time. The Buffs had allowed just 29 runs in the previous 11 games.
The Storm put together an eight-run second inning to wipe out an early Buff lead. All those runs came on just three hits.
An opening infield error, hit batter and walk set up the big inning off starter Albert Adams. Summit took advantage with a two-run double by Jake Peters, followed by a two-run single by Jason Wilson. Four batters later, Jeff Nelson drilled a two-run single.
After another walk, Adams was off the mound. He entered the game allowing just six runs, five earned in 14 1/3 innings (a 3.14 earned run average). Against Summit, Adams allowed eight runs, six earned, while giving up five hits and three walks to leave the game with a 4.21 ERA.
"An emotional meltdown is about the only way I can describe it," Dmytryk said. "Albert's been very commanding on the mound all year long, but he wasn't getting the calls on the corners. That's part of baseball life and now we have to rebound."
The hosts walked in another run against Darrell Ceciliani. The senior lefty went on to give up three runs, two earned, with five walks in his 1 2/3 innings. Zach Quinn went the final three innings, giving up four runs with just one earned.
Madras led until the disastrous bottom of the second. The Buffs jumped on Nelson with two runs in the first and another in the second before he left.
A lead-off walk by Smith, who went to second on a passed ball, set up the first. Smith scored on Ceciliani's single to right. An outfield error sent Ceciliani to second, from which he scored on Prow's infield out.
An inning later, Ethan Adams drilled a two-out double to center and scored on Smith's single to right. Then disaster struck.
Once behind, Madras strayed from its patient approach at the plate. In the fifth, all three Buff hitters connected on the first pitch they saw.
"Once we fell behind, we tried to get all those runs back at once," Dmytryk said. "We weren't patient like we should have been, or like Summit was against us."
Madras 11, Bend 1: By the end of the game, Jake Prow had a dirty uniform.
He should have. It's work to throw a six-inning no-hitter and drive in the go-ahead runs.
It was a noisy no-hitter, if that's possible. Bend had runners on base with five walks and a hit batter.
Part of that was adjusting to a tight strike zone. He gave up two walks, but induced a pair of infield outs.
"You have to adjust to what the umpire is calling; you can't worry about the umpire," Prow said. "He was consistent throughout the game, so I pitched how the strike zone was."
Bend's only run came in the third on a walk, passed ball and two wild pitches for a 1-1 tie. Prow also struck out eight and retired the final seven Lava Bears he faced.
"My changeup was working well," Prow said. "I was able to mix it up with my fastball and curve. My change got them a lot."
The change is Prow's new weapon. He used it at times last season when he went 5-1 with three saves in the IMC season.
"I've worked hard on it (the change), trying to keep my arm motion the same as my fastball to keep the hitters off balance."
Madras scored the bulk of its runs from the third inning on. The Buffs took the initial lead in the first when Rodney Smith drilled a triple to left and scored on an infield error.
Two innings later, Prow had a chance to give himself a lead with two on. Albert Adams reached base on a two-base outfield error and Darrell Ceciliani singled to left. Both moved up a base on a wild pitch.
Then Prow drilled a single up the middle to score two runs.
"That's the situation I love; when runners are on base," Prow said. "Sometimes I don't get it done, but I try my best to get it done. During that at bat, I was just thinking line drive, nothing fancy. You don't try to hit it over (the fence), just score the runs with a line shot."
A bigger hit followed. Martin Brown drilled a two-run homer to left.
"Martin has hit balls out in practice, so I wasn't surprised," Dmytryk said. "Up and down our lineup we have guys who can hit the ball."
Madras' nine hits came from six Buff hitters with seven scoring runs. Ceciliani, Brown and Zach Quinn had two hits each. Quinn helped end the game early with a two-run double.