Estacada shuts out Corbett 4-0, goes on to stun Gladstone in league opener

by: ESTACADA NEWS: PARKER LEE - Estacada pitcher Casey Jones fires a throw during last weeks win over Corbett. The Estacada Rangers rounded out the preseason on a high note as they played host to Corbett on Thursday. Estacada shut out the Cardinals 4-0 only minutes before heavy rain soaked the field.

Corbett may have wished the rain came before the game because Estacada threw its ace, Casey Jones, at the Cardinals and they couldn’t get anything going at the plate. Corbett scratched out a few hits and walks sporadically throughout the game, but never made a huge threat to score while Jones was on the mound.

“Our guys came in with a lot of confidence defensively and on the mound,” Estacada coach Ryan Carpenter said. “Casey did a nice job setting them up and really had them off-balance all game.”

The Cardinals kept Estacada’s offense off the score board for the first two innings, but the Rangers broke the scoreless tie in the third. No. 9 hitter Zach Stamm led off the inning with a bunt single up the third-base side. Corbett third baseman Alberto Tello had to rush his throw to first in an effort to retire the speedy Stamm, but the throw skipped by the first baseman and Stamm moved around to third. Kyle Beguelin drove Stamm home with a clean single through the infield.

Estacada added a run in the fifth inning to make it a 2-0 ball game, but the Rangers wanted a few insurance runs to feel a little more comfortable with its situation. In the bottom of the sixth inning, third baseman Brandon Beck punched a big RBI-single into the outfield to give the Rangers another run.

Beck advanced to third base on a single which gave Estacada runners on the corners with one out as Bryce Babikoff stepped in. On the first pitch, Beck broke for home as the pitch was being delivered. Babikoff squared around and got the bunt down to complete the suicide squeeze.

“We did a nice job executing on some things, and we came up with some hits in clutch spots,” Carpenter said. “Some of those hits came with two strikes, and we are going to need that in league play.”

With a four-run lead, Estacada pulled Jones and put in a reliever in the seventh inning. With that, Corbett had its one window to get back in the game. The Cardinals took the approach that they were going to be more patient than normal at the plate, and it worked. After the first two batters of the inning were retired, Corbett loaded the bases with a pair of walks and a hit batsman.

With the tying run at the plate, Estacada wasn’t taking any chances. Carpenter re-entered Jones on the mound and he picked off the runner at second base to end the game.

Carpenter felt like the win was crucial going into conference competition.

“Our league is going to be tough, but I’m excited,” Carpenter said. “I think our pitching is solid and we are sound defensively. I think we can compete with anybody if we make routine plays on a regular basis.”

The Rangers stunned 10th-ranked Gladstone in the Tri-Valley Conference opener on Monday as they escaped with a 2-1 victory. It was their third straight win after losing four in a row. Game 2 of the series against Gladstone was on Wednesday.

View a photo gallery of the game at

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