Brandon Beck's RBI-double and six innings on the mound push Estacada to the 6-2 victory

by: ESTACADA NEWS: PARKER LEE - Estacadas Casey Jones attempts to avoid the tag on a dive back to first base during last weeks home win over North Marion.The seniors on the Estacada baseball team have had to deal with the labels they have been given by other teams in the Tri-Valley Conference since they started their high-school careers. The Rangers have gained a reputation over the last few years as being a club that can get a few wins against the bottom teams in the league, but can’t hang with the league’s elite.

This year’s Rangers have shown they are taking the next step as a program, but they were still searching for a marquee win to prove they are turning the corner. Estacada finally got that win on April 30.

The Rangers rode starting pitcher Brandon Beck – on the mound and at the plate – to a 6-2 victory on their home field over the third-ranked North Marion Huskies.

“Things have been kind of rough for this team in the past,” Beck said. “This year, we are starting to pull everything together. It feels pretty good to beat a team like this. It’s really cool to see this in our senior year.”

Beck was big for Estacada in all aspects of the game. In the bottom of the first inning, he drove in the game’s first run with a screaming line drive to the wall in left field. He came in and scored on an error one hitter later.

Estacada went into the bottom half of the fifth clinging to a 4-2 lead when Beck drew a leadoff walk to spark a Ranger rally. His walk led to two consecutive North Marion errors and ultimately two unearned runs.

With as clutch as Beck was at the plate, he was far more impactful on the hill. He threw 105 pitches over six innings and worked his way out of trouble on numerous occasions. In the top of the first, the Huskies got runners to second and third with one out. Beck responded by striking out the next two hitters to end the inning.

North Marion scored an unearned run in the second, and another in the third, but Beck kept the damage to a minimum. The Huskies stranded two runners in the second and one in the third. North Marion threatened in the fifth and sixth innings as it put base runners on first and second. Beck forced a two-out pop up both times to leave the runners on.

“He is our leader. He is a senior guy who reeled us in and put us in a position to win the baseball game,” Estacada coach Ryan Carpenter said. “North Marion is a really good hitting team. They are the No. 3 team in the state, and they are for a reason, but Brandon had them fooled.”

Beck did not allow an earned run in his six innings. He surrendered just two hits and struck out seven.

With Beck’s pitch count elevated, Estacada called upon Casey Jones to close the game. Jones got into a bit of a sticky situation when he walked the first two batters and then allowed a single. He fought out of the bases-loaded jam by getting two fly outs and a strikeout.

“I was really proud of the way our guys came out. We were poised and ready, and we were aggressive offensively. We forced them to make plays, and they struggled to make them,” Carpenter said. “This is a huge win for this program and our guys.”

The win was Estacada’s fifth league victory of the season. The Rangers only won a total of five conference games in the previous two seasons combined.

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