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Falcons maintain their grip on first

La Salle is a game up on North Marion heading into the final week of TVC baseball


La Salle Prep remained atop the Tri-Valley Conference baseball standings heading into the final week of the regular season. But the race for the title was still a heated battle.

La Salle sported a 9-2 record in conference with four league games remaining. But North Marion (18-4, 8-3), Estacada (11-10, 7-4) and Gladstone (14-8, 7-5) were not far back.

“This is where it gets fun,” said La Salle coach Jake Austin. “We play four games and everyone we play is fighting for a league playoff spot. It’s going to come down to who wants it the most is the one who is going to move on.”

La Salle was to play Molalla (7-13, 3-8) on May 12. The Falcons host Gladstone this afternoon, they play North Marion on the road on Thursday and they are at Estacada on Friday.

The Falcons got two games in last week and they were not at their best.

They defeated Madras 8-7 on May 7, but errors nearly cost them the ball game. Only three of Madras’ seven runs were earned.

And the Falcons played Estacada in a game at Clackamas High School on Saturday and left 13 runners on base in a 10-2 loss.

In the game with Madras, Austin Vaughn pushed La Salle’s winning run across on a fielder’s choice in the bottom of the sixth. The run put the Falcons up 8-4.

But the White Buffaloes nearly stole the game with a three-run rally in the top of the seventh. A Falcon error, two singles, a double and a sacrifice bunt made it an 8-7 game with one out and the tying run at second base. Fortunately for the Falcons, Kelly Krumm hauled down a fly ball in right field and Sam Wade nabbed a seeing eye fly at second to end the game.

Michael Duarte (3-for-3, 2 runs), Dane Maben (2-for-3), Wade (2 runs) and Keaton Kryger (double) led La Salle at the plate as the Falcons earned a 9-8 edge in hitting.

The Rangers outhit the Falcons 12-5 in last week’s 10-2 Ranger win, and the Falcons weren’t able to take advantage of seven walks.

Vaughn had two hits and Krumm had a two-run double in the losing effort.

“We struggled to get that timely hit and Estacada played really solid,” said Austin. “I think they wanted it more than we did.”




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