Madras baseball needs wins, wins

A season ago, the Madras baseball squad won five of its final seven Intermountain Conference games to advance to the 5A state playoffs.
   The White Buffalos need to go on a similar stampede this season for a third consecutive trip to the state playoffs. This season, Madras is 2-5 halfway through the IMC season, two games out of fourth place.
   The IMC's top four teams advance to the playoffs, starting on May 16 for the third and fourth seeds from the IMC.
   A Madras playoff push will be with a schedule revised last week. The Buffs will not host Crook County in a Thursday doubleheader. Instead, Madras is at Crook County at 4:30 p.m. Thursday after hosting the Cowboys on Tuesday, April 22.
   The Buffs will host Pendleton in a 1 p.m. Saturday doubleheader. The IMC season continues with a Tuesday, April 29 game at Bend.
   "We have to beat Crook County twice and then see what we can do against a Pendleton team which is hot," Madras coach Stann Dmytryk said. The Buckaroos own a five-game winning streak in IMC play, including a home sweep of Mountain View (by 17-7 and 8-3 scores).
   Meanwhile, the Buffs are coming off losses to The Dalles-Wahtonka in a home-and-home series last week. Madras did win at Burns 6-3 in a nonleague game on Tuesday, April 15.
   TDW 9, Madras 3: A five-run sixth was the Buffs' undoing in the Thursday home game. Until then, Madras trailed 3-2.
   Turner Gill had a run-scoring double in the fourth and Spencer Ellsbury drove in a run with a sacrifice fly in the fifth to keep the Buffs close.
   Martin Brown suffered the loss, allowing five runs, three earned on five hits and a walk while striking out five in five-plus innings. The Eagle Indians did much of their damage against Albert Adams, weakened by the flu, Dmytryk said. Adams allowed four runs in his one inning.
   "We're not a healthy team," said Dmytryk after the loss. "Albert is sick and Darrell (Ceciliani, the starting center fielder) isn't here because he's sick."
   TDW 6, Madras 5: Two runs by the hosts in the bottom of the ninth kept the hosts in a fourth-place tie and the Buffs in sixth. Those runs came after Madras put together a two-out rally in the top of the ninth.
   "It was a great game to watch," Dmytryk said. "A lot of things happened, but it was a tough game to lose."
   The Buffs owned a 3-1 lead going into the bottom of the fifth. A run-scoring double by Rodney Smith in the second and two-run single by Jake Prow in the fifth accounted for Madras' runs.
   Prow was busy all game, pitching eight innings. He struck out 11 while allowing four earned runs on three hits and seven walks. Two of those hits were homers, including a three-run shot in the bottom of the fifth.
   "Jake showed why he was the IMC's player of the year last season," Dmytryk said. "We planned on using him as our closer, but he wanted the ball."
   The Buffs forced extra innings on Ceciliani's two-out triple in the seventh. The hit scored Ethan Adams who led off the seventh with a single and advanced to second on Ellsbury's sacrifice bunt.
   Two innings later, Ethan Adams hit another lead-off single and scored on Ceciliani's two-out single. TDW spoiled the rally when three hits and an error scored two runs.