Early lead vanishes in Estacadas 6-5 loss at Gladstone, splitting the Tri-Valley League series

by: ESTACADA NEWS: DAVID BALL - Estacada pitcher Brandon Beck watches a ball head toward the batter during last weeks loss at Gladstone. He hit a home run in the game to put the Rangers up 3-0 in the first inning. GLADSTONE — Brandon Beck smashed a two-run homer over the left-field fence in his first at-bat and it appeared Estacada was on its way to a win at Gladstone last week. But the bottom fell out in the late innings, and the Gladiators rushed back to claim a 6-5 win and split the opening series in Tri-Valley Conference play.

The Rangers found themselves in front 3-0 in the first inning when Kordell McPherson followed Beck’s homer with an RBI-double that flew over the left fielder’s head.

Estacada stayed in front most of the way, adding runs on a sacrifice by McPherson in the third inning and an RBI-single by Beck in the fifth that put Estacada up 5-2.

Gladstone came back to tie the game heading into the seventh inning.

Estacada looked ready to regain its lead when McPherson drew a walk to load the bases, but Gladstone reliever A.J. Swalko struck out the next batter to keep the scoreboard frozen.

The Gladiators finished off the game when Austin Krieger sent a lead-off single through the middle of the infield. Two batters later Mitchell Foeller hit a single that pin balled off a pair of infielders.

Estacada reliever Casey Jones struck out the next batter, setting up a showdown with Gladstone’s Cody Swenson. Get the out and the game continues into extra innings, give up a hit and it would be time to board the bus.

Swenson sent the Rangers home with a sharp hopper that rolled into the grass. Krieger came across the plate unchallenged.

Estacada (5-7) takes on Molalla this week with a home game at 5 p.m. Thursday before hosting Madras in a two-game series next week starting with a 5 p.m. home game Tuesday.

The Rangers avoided a bases-loaded jam in the fourth inning against Gladstone when shortstop Jordan McDaniel stabbed a ground ball in the dirt with the edge of his glove. He stayed with the play, scooping it up quickly and firing a throw that beat the runner to first base by half a step.

McDaniel made another stellar defensive stop in the first inning when he barehanded a grounder for an out. He accounted for six outs on the day.

View a photo gallery from the game at

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