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Jaguars sneak past Madison 2-1 to win the Glencoe Spring Break Tournament

The Century baseball team gave Nick LoBue two runs, and he made them hold up.by: HILLSBORO TRIBUNE PHOTO: AMANDA MILES - Century pitcher Nick LoBue delivers a pitch last Wednesday against Madison in the final game of the Glencoe Spring Break Tournament.

Playing in the final of the Glencoe Spring Break Tournament last Wednesday at Hillsboro Stadium, the Jaguars spotted Madison a run in the bottom of the first inning but answered back with two runs in the top of the second to put themselves in the lead.

That effort on offense wound up being enough for the senior LoBue, who shut out the Senators the rest of the way in a 2-1 Century victory.

The title contest capped a four-game win streak for the Jaguars, who defeated city rival Liberty 9-3 on March 18 before turning back David Douglas 3-0 and Aloha 3-2 last week in its first two tournament games. The team rounded out the week with a tight 8-7 loss at The Dalles-Wahtonka to move to 4-2 in the early stages of the season.

“When you limit errors and you get good pitching, then you have a chance to win,” Century coach Kyle Bunting said from the visitors’ dugout afterward while a downpour drenched the field. “That’s what we did for three games.”

The Senators, who knocked off Glencoe 7-6 in the semifinals, wasted little time in ushering in the scoring in the championship game. They got a leadoff single and then an RBI sacrifice groundout to crack the scoreboard in the first.

But the Jaguars limited the damage to one run and answered in the next inning almost immediately. Josh Sundquist started the rally by legging out a single, and then Marcos Hernandez drew a walk off of Madison starting pitcher Austin Powers.

Then, after Kyle Lennen’s line drive was caught for the first out of the inning, Sam Bates busted a double to right-center that drove in Sundquist and moved Hernandez to third base.

Jaylen Martes was the next batter up, and his sacrifice provided the quick Hernandez with plenty of time to cross home plate and stake Century to the lead.

“We ended up winning by a run. It’s important I got the bat on the ball,” Martes said. “Our team, when we get the bat on the ball, we can do a lot. We can be dangerous. Whether it’s me or whether it’s one of our other players, if we get the bat on the ball, we can win games.”

While that Hernandez score wound up being the last one of the day, it was not for lack of trying. In fact, the Jaguars had a chance to add to their lead in the second, but Daniel Moore got caught in a rundown between first and second. But before he was tagged out, the Senators’ first baseman noticed Bates advancing from third and alertly threw home for the out.

While Century would not score again, neither would Madison. With LoBue scattering a handful of hits and inducing a number of groundouts and flyouts, the Jaguars did not give the Senators many opportunities.

“Just throwing strikes, hitting my spots,” LoBue said about his second start of the season. “Everybody had my back. We played good defense, got a lot of outs.”

In fact, even when Madison knocked LoBue — literally — the pitcher still found a way to get the out. In the fourth, Adam Wright smacked the ball right back at the pitcher’s mound, nailing LoBue in the left leg. But LoBue calmly picked up the ball and flipped it to Sundquist at first base for the first out of the inning.

Century was back in action on Tuesday with a 2-1 victory against Southridge at Hillsboro Ballpark. The Jaguars also were scheduled to host St. Helens on Wednesday (results not available at press deadline), and they round out their nonleague schedule today at Sunset. First pitch is slated for 4:45 p.m.

“It’s really helping us bond as a team — get together so that we’re prepared for those league games, and we’re prepared for making a run and going as far as we can this year,” LoBue said.

The team kicks off league play next week with two games against city rival Glencoe. The Jaguars are on the road for the Tuesday tilt and at home on Wednesday. Both contests have 4:30 p.m. start times.

“The kids are developing confidence,” Bunting said. “It looks like they feel they can win any game if it’s going to be in the ballpark and close. They’re starting to believe they’ve got a shot. That’s huge. That’s half the battle.”

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