Century captures tourney title
Jaguars sneak past Madison 2-1 to win the Glencoe Spring Break Tournament
The Century baseball team gave Nick LoBue two runs, and he made them hold up.
Playing in the final of the Glencoe Spring Break Tournament last Wednesday at Hillsboro Stadium, the Jaguars spotted Madison a run in the bottom of the first inning but answered back with two runs in the top of the second to put themselves in the lead.
That effort on offense wound up being enough for the senior LoBue, who shut out the Senators the rest of the way in a 2-1 Century victory.
The title contest capped a four-game win streak for the Jaguars, who defeated city rival Liberty 9-3 on March 18 before turning back David Douglas 3-0 and Aloha 3-2 last week in its first two tournament games. The team rounded out the week with a tight 8-7 loss at The Dalles-Wahtonka to move to 4-2 in the early stages of the season.
When you limit errors and you get good pitching, then you have a chance to win, Century coach Kyle Bunting said from the visitors dugout afterward while a downpour drenched the field. Thats what we did for three games.
The Senators, who knocked off Glencoe 7-6 in the semifinals, wasted little time in ushering in the scoring in the championship game. They got a leadoff single and then an RBI sacrifice groundout to crack the scoreboard in the first.
But the Jaguars limited the damage to one run and answered in the next inning almost immediately. Josh Sundquist started the rally by legging out a single, and then Marcos Hernandez drew a walk off of Madison starting pitcher Austin Powers.
Then, after Kyle Lennens line drive was caught for the first out of the inning, Sam Bates busted a double to right-center that drove in Sundquist and moved Hernandez to third base.
Jaylen Martes was the next batter up, and his sacrifice provided the quick Hernandez with plenty of time to cross home plate and stake Century to the lead.
We ended up winning by a run. Its important I got the bat on the ball, Martes said. Our team, when we get the bat on the ball, we can do a lot. We can be dangerous. Whether its me or whether its one of our other players, if we get the bat on the ball, we can win games.
While that Hernandez score wound up being the last one of the day, it was not for lack of trying. In fact, the Jaguars had a chance to add to their lead in the second, but Daniel Moore got caught in a rundown between first and second. But before he was tagged out, the Senators first baseman noticed Bates advancing from third and alertly threw home for the out.
While Century would not score again, neither would Madison. With LoBue scattering a handful of hits and inducing a number of groundouts and flyouts, the Jaguars did not give the Senators many opportunities.
Just throwing strikes, hitting my spots, LoBue said about his second start of the season. Everybody had my back. We played good defense, got a lot of outs.
In fact, even when Madison knocked LoBue literally the pitcher still found a way to get the out. In the fourth, Adam Wright smacked the ball right back at the pitchers mound, nailing LoBue in the left leg. But LoBue calmly picked up the ball and flipped it to Sundquist at first base for the first out of the inning.
Century was back in action on Tuesday with a 2-1 victory against Southridge at Hillsboro Ballpark. The Jaguars also were scheduled to host St. Helens on Wednesday (results not available at press deadline), and they round out their nonleague schedule today at Sunset. First pitch is slated for 4:45 p.m.
Its really helping us bond as a team get together so that were prepared for those league games, and were prepared for making a run and going as far as we can this year, LoBue said.
The team kicks off league play next week with two games against city rival Glencoe. The Jaguars are on the road for the Tuesday tilt and at home on Wednesday. Both contests have 4:30 p.m. start times.
The kids are developing confidence, Bunting said. It looks like they feel they can win any game if its going to be in the ballpark and close. Theyre starting to believe theyve got a shot. Thats huge. Thats half the battle.