The Mustangs top Centennial, tie Aloha

Milwaukie High School’s baseball team continued competitive last week, winning an 8-7 barnburner from Centennial and battling to a 2-2 standoff in a rain-shortened game with Aloha.

Milwaukie coach Dan Lee commented, “I’m pretty happy with where we’re at. We’ve been very good defensively and we’ve continued to work hard and make things happen at the plate. Our pitching isn’t where it needs to be, but I think that will come.”

The Mustangs led most of the way in last week’s game with Centennial, after building a 6-3 lead with five runs in the bottom of the third frame. And they took advantage of an Eagle defensive miscue to bring the winning run across in the bottom of the fifth.

Junior outfielder Elias Brezai led off the fifth with a base hit. Freshman pinch runner Gunner Murk stole second; and Murk scored with two down when senior Jose Penuelas reached on an infield error.

In the third, Penuelas reached on an error and advanced on a sacrifice bunt by senior infielder Steven Yerman. Senior infielder T.J. Fisher (2-for-2, 2 doubles, 2 runs) walked and senior Jason Espinoza (3-for-4, 2 RBI) rapped a two-out single to bring Penuelas around.

Junior outfielder Randall Sam walked to load the bases. Brezai’s base hit brought two runs across. Senior infielder Kyle Stone rapped a run-scoring single; and Brezai and Stone teamed up for a successful double steal to round out the five-run rally.

Espinoza pitched the first five innings, striking out five, walking three and allowing six hits. His teammates supported him with error-free defensive play.

The Mustangs played well enough to win in the rain-shortened, five-inning game with Aloha. Junior Nathan Wilson was solid on the mound, striking out three, walking two and scattering five singles in five full innings of work.

Espinoza (2-for-3) headed up the offense. His two-out, run-scoring double in the fifth inning tied the score at 2-2.

The Mustangs (2-1-1) had four games scheduled on the road — with Pendleton, Roseburg, Reynolds and Hermiston — early this week.

They begin Northwest Oregon Conference play next Tuesday, when they play Wilsonville (3-2) on the road.

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