Estacada holds leads midway through both county games before being eliminated

by: ESTACADA NEWS: DAVID BALL - Estacada starter Andy Avants put North Marion down in order twice. LAKE OSWEGO — Estacada had the tournament’s No. 1 seed on the ropes Friday, but couldn’t deliver the knockout blow during a 12-2 loss to open the Junior Baseball Senior American county playoffs.

North Marion looked to get off to a quick start, putting together a two-out rally to load the bases in its first at-bats. But the threat was erased when Estacada pitcher Andy Avants picked off the runner at first base.

The Huskies went down in order in the next two innings.

Estacada was hitting well early in the game and was poised to make a splash on the scoreboard after Anthony Allen sent a looper over the second baseman’s glove to load the bases with nobody out in the third inning.

North Marion’s defense buckled down under the pressure, but Estacada did move into the lead 1-0 on a chopper through the dirt by Kodey James.

The Rangers extended to a 2-0 margin in the fourth inning when Sheridan Brady hit a double over the right fielder’s head that allowed Sam Blankenship to race home from first base. Brady also hit a double to the center-field fence in the second inning.

Estacada had a chance to add to its lead when Jeffrey Juker connected on a sharp line drive, but North Marion’s first baseman Hunter Schrenk stabbed the ball out of the air to end the inning.

Estacada maintained a slim 2-1 lead into the fifth inning before the top-seeded Huskies exploded for an eight-run scoring spree that broke the game open.

North Marion brought 13 batters to the plate, pounding out four hits and drawing five walks during the rally. A series of hits by Dominic Enbody, Kendall Boykin and Schrenk brought in four of the runs, and the Huskies saw their lead mushroom to 9-2 before the Rangers could get out of the inning when reliever Junior Avalos struck out the last batter.

North Marion ended the game in the sixth on Dylan Doubrava’s two-run triple that reached the center-field fence and put the mercy rule into effect.

Estacada managed only two base runners in its last two innings, neither of them getting past first base.

• Estacada dropped out of the tournament later that afternoon with a 9-3 loss to Wilsonville. The Rangers held a 3-1 lead in the fourth inning before the Wildcats scored in each of the last three innings to earn the comeback win.

Brady struck out six batters in three innings on the mound, while Avalos connected for a pair of hits to lead the offense.

Lake Oswego won the tournament.

Estacada hosts the JBO Senior American state tournament Thursday through Sunday, July 18-21.

• Estacada's Junior American team finished second at the county tournament, while the Rangers were fifth in the Senior National bracket.

View a photo gallery of the Estacada-North Marion game at ...

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