Extra-inning throw saves the day for Rangers
Estacada opens the season with a 5-5 draw against Sandy
Estacada senior pitcher Casey Jones tossed four pristine innings of shutout baseball in the Rangers season opener against Sandy on Monday, but it was his throw from the outfield that saved them.
Jones caught a fly ball in the top of the 10th inning and threw out Sandys Canyon Dwyre on a perfect one-hopper to the plate to eliminate what would have been the winning run. The Rangers didnt score in their half of the 10th, but they did escape with a 5-5 tie when the game was called for darkness.
That is a clutch throw from a senior with a lot of experience, Estacada coach Ryan Carpenter said. That was huge, just as good as it gets. To do it in Game 1 is just awesome.
Jones started the game for Estacada on the mound and was sensational. He gave up just one hit and two walks in four innings. Jones retired the final seven batters he faced.
Jones also did his job at the plate. He hammered a two-out single to center field in the bottom of the first inning that brought home the first run of the season. Behind his bat and arm, the Rangers were in the zone early and jumped out to a 4-0 lead by the end of the fourth inning.
I was very happy with my kids, Carpenter said. They came out fired up and ready play, and they had a great approach at the plate.
Estacada made a move to the bullpen to open the fifth inning, which flipped the momentum over to the Pioneers dugout. Sandys Grayson Fenwick led off the fifth with a double down the left-field line. He later scored on a sacrifice fly by Darin Lort.
Sandy continued to chip away and scored two more runs in sixth innings. After drawing a leadoff walk, Bryce Tilton crossed the plate on an RBI-single up the middle by Sam Kalar. Cody Welty was then forced in when Lort worked a bases-loaded walk, making it a 4-3 ball game.
The Pioneers put two more runs on the scoreboard in the top of the seventh without hitting the ball out of the infield. Carson Dwyre started things off by poking a dribbler to third base. He would have beaten the throw, but Estacada threw it across the diamond anyway and the ball went out of play, sending Dwyre to second. Tilton then got beaned to give Sandy two base runners with no outs.
Welty came up and smacked a line drive to the Estacada third baseman. The ball bounced off his glove and trickled behind the bag. When he picked it up he threw it over to first base instead stepping on third for the easy out. The ball got away down the first-base line and Dwyre scored to tie the game.
Canyon Dwyre stepped in with runners on first and third and bounced a slow-roller back to pitcher Brandon Beck. Tilton waited until Beck threw to first before taking off for home. He beat the throw back to the plate with a hook slide to put Sandy ahead, 5-4.
Estacada responded in the bottom of the seventh. Chase Settle popped a one-out double to the gap in left-center and advanced to third on a throwing error. First baseman Kordell McPherson then drove Settle home with his second RBI-single of the game.
After McPhersons big knock, neither team managed much offense in the eighth or ninth innings. Sandy put itself in position to score in the 10th by loading the bases with a walk, a bunt and a single with no outs. Jones then made his catch-and-throw to kill the rally.
We kind of had a lapse there when we had an opportunity to win it, but we can learn from that, Carpenter said. If we can play with Sandy, with an opportunity to beat Sandy, Im pretty excited about where were at.