The Estacada baseball team had its chances to avoid an 8-0 shutout against Madras on Thursday, but could not capitalize. Despite getting runners in scoring position on multiple occasions, the Rangers failed to create clutch hits.
Estacadas demise came in the fifth inning, at least from an offensive standpoint. The Rangers were still in the game at that juncture, trailing 1-0.
Kyle Beguelin started the inning by getting plunked in the back to give Estacada the runner it needed. That brought up leadoff hitter James Smith in an obvious sacrifice bunt situation. Smith did square around on the first few pitches, but couldnt find one to his liking. He then showed bunt again and the Madras third baseman charged in. Smith pulled back his bat and took a swing, sending a lofty chopper over the head of the charging third baseman. With runners on first and second with no outs, Ryan Vauthier bunted a pitch at his eyes to move his teammates over.
The Rangers had just the scenario it wanted as their Nos. 3 and 4 hitters, Brandon Beck and Devin Foust, came up with runners in scoring position. Beck went down on strikes and Foust grounded out to the shortstop to end the inning.
We couldnt ask for different guys to be up, Estacada coach Ryan Carpenter said. In that situation again, if I could hand-select people, those are the two guys I would want up there. Unfortunately, it just didnt work out this time.
Things really unraveled for the Rangers following the squandered opportunity in the fifth inning. Pitcher Beck had been solid up until then, but Madras finally found its timing against Beck in the sixth and added two runs on several hard hit balls.
In the seventh inning, everything went wrong for Estacada. It walked batters, committed errors and allowed stolen bases. By the time the Rangers came up for their last at-bat, they trailed by eight runs, and it showed in their demeanor. They went down in order to end the game.
As the pressure fell on us, we missed chances to make plays to get ourselves back in the game, Carpenter said. We are going to go back to the drawing board and try to recreate some of those pressure spots, and hopefully we can be successful in it.