Rangers remain in the playoff chase with one week left in the season

by: ESTACADA NEWS: PARKER LEE - Estacadas Orion Alexander lays down a tag at first base.The Estacada JBO team had no trouble getting runners on base against Silverton on Thursday. Unfortunately for the Rangers, too many of those runners were stranded on the base paths, paving the way for the Foxes to sprint to a 7-3 win.

Estacada got at least one runner on base in all seven innings, but couldn’t come up with enough timely hits to bring them in. Multiple runners were also sent back to the dugout thanks to pristine defense by Silverton.

Junior Avalos drew a leadoff walk for the Rangers in the first inning, but was caught stealing at second on a perfect throw from the Silverton catcher. Estacada had three players reach safely in the following inning, but the Foxes kept the Rangers off the scoreboard by routinely fielding three grounders. Estacada’s one base runner in the third inning was erased on an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play.

The Rangers, who trailed 3-0 at the end of three innings, did break through for two runs in the fourth. Shortstop Andy Avants fueled the scoring by cracking an RBI-double over the left fielder’s head. He later scored on an infield single by first baseman Levi Albrecht, and the Rangers still had two runners aboard with one out. Silverton came up with two big strikeouts to keep the runners put, but not before Estacada cut the lead to 3-2.

With the Rangers sniffing a comeback, Silverton’s Bryce Shippen delivered a knockout blow. Three straight single to start the inning set the stage for Shippen who blasted a deep drive to the gap in left-center for a three-run double. That stretched Silverton’s lead to four runs.

Estacada mustered a few more hits in the fifth and sixth innings, but clean fielding by Silverton left the Ranger runners where they were. Both teams added one run each in the seventh inning, which was fine for the Foxes and their comfortable lead.

Aside from the RBI-double by Avants, Estacada’s Sam Blankenship sparked the offense with a pair of singles. On the mound, Sheridan Brady started and threw four innings. Brady surrendered three hits and three runs while fanning seven batters.

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