Tri-Valley Conference wins will start to become important

For the Madras High baseball team, almost isn’t going to cut it anymore.

With the halfway point of Tri-Valley Conference play approaching and the White Buffalos looking up at every team in the league standings, getting some wins becomes paramount if the Buffs want to extend their season.

After dropping a pair of winnable games to Gladstone last week, Madras sits at 4-10 overall and 0-4 in league play, the only team without a conference win. But coach Sam McCormick and his team aren’t about to get down.

Entering this week’s play, La Salle leads the conference race, but it is a tight one. The Falcons, ranked third in Class 4A, are 8-2 overall and 3-0 in league play, but Gladstone (10-4, 3-1) and North Marion (12-2, 2-1) are right on their heels. Estacada (6-8, 2-2), Mollala (5-8, 1-3) and Madras round out the field.

But with a pair of games with Estacada this week, Tuesday away and Thursday at home, the Buffs have the opportunity to climb right back into the race.

Madras had that same opportunity last week, dropping close games to Gladstone. The Gladiators took advantage of seven Buff errors in the first meeting to escape with a 6-4 win.

Cody Shepherd continued his hot streak at the plate, going 4 for 4 with a triple and a pair of RBIs while Parker Dominguez pounded out two hits.

The second meeting saw Devon Wolfe record four strikeouts while tossing a complete game, but Gladstone pushed two runs across the plate in the fifth and sixth innings to steal a 4-2 win at home. Bryce Rehwinkel and Alec McDonald paced the Buffs’ offense.

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