by: MEG WILLIAMS - Gladstone shortstop A.J. Swalko makes the tag on an Estacada baserunner for an out in last weeks 5-4 win over the Rangers. Gladstone entered play this week with a record of 8-3 in Junior State Baseball.

Gladstone improves to 8-3 on the Junior State summer season

Gladstone High School's Junior State Baseball team won a couple of barnburners last week, rallying to top Molalla 6-5 on Friday, after dispatching with Estacada 5-4 earlier in the week.

Trailing 5-2, the Gladiators scored four runs in the sixth and seventh innings to pull out the game with Molalla.

Sophomore-to-be Ben Fox (3-for-4) played a major role in the comeback, scoring one run in the sixth, and driving in the winning run with a two-out base hit in the bottom of the seventh.

Fox doubled with one out to get things started in the sixth. He moved to third on an Indian error, and scored with two down when junior Cody Swenson reached on an error. Kyle Betnar (2-for-3) followed with a run-scoring double, and the Indian lead was 5-4.

Junior Mitch Foeller (2-for-4) led off the seventh with a double and scored on a one-out double by classmate Reese Cote. With two down in the seventh, Fox then hit a first-pitch single to right, bringing Cote around for the game-winner.

The game was not without adversity. Gladstone catcher Zach Webster was taken out on a controversial slide at home when the Indians put their fifth run on the scoreboard in the top of the fifth inning.

'It was kind of scary,' said Gladstone assistant coach Greg Bender. 'We had to call 911. The game was stopped for 30 minutes and Zach was taken to the hospital with a concussion....

'I'm pretty proud of our guys. Zach is one of our leaders and they were pretty upset when Zach went down. But the kids came back. They were down by three runs, but they fought back and got the job done.'

Kyle Betnar stepped in behind the plate in Webster's absence.

'Kyle hadn't caught in a long time, but he did a tremendous job,' said Bender. 'He got the final out in the [top of the seventh], when he threw a kid out stealing.'

Sophomore Trask Telesmanich (2 strikeouts, one walk) pitched a strong game in relief, allowing just two hits and one run in 6-1/3 innings of work. Estacada scored four runs in the first inning, stringing together four hits with three walks.

Telesmanich came in with the bases loaded in the top of the first and retired the side when he got the next Molalla batter to pop up to the mound.

Fox, Betnar, Foeller, Telesmanich (2-for-4) and Cote (2 RBI) led the Gladiators in a 12-hit offensive attack.

The Gladiators outhit the Rangers 11-5 in last week's 5-4 win over Estacada. But the Rangers nearly pulled out the win, thanks to four Gladiator errors. Only one Estacada run was earned.

Estacada scored three runs on four errors and a walk in the third inning.

Gladstone went up 5-3 with two runs in the bottom of the fourth. A.J. Swalko and Webster singled and Betnar reached as a hit batsman to load the bases. Senior Kyler Cavitt then hammered a double to left-center to bring two runs around.

Webster went 3-for-4 at the plate and he gunned down two baserunners stealing. Swalko (3-for-4) scored three times.

Telesmanich was tough in relief in the sixth and seventh, striking out two and walking no one, while facing only six batters. An Estacada batter reached on a base hit in the sixth, but Webster gunned him down stealing second.

Gladstone pitchers Austin Krieger, Swanson and Telesmanich combined for nine strikeouts, while walking two and hitting three batters.

Gladstone (8-3, 5-2) hosts La Salle tonight at 7, and the Gladiators travel to Milwaukie for a 6 p.m. game on Friday.

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