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Buffs pound out hits in victory

Madras goes 2-1 in last three TVC matchups


by: BILLY GATES/THE PIONEER - Madras shortstop Andrew Fine (left) flips the ball to Robert Fine during the Buffs' 9-7 win against Molalla on Monday.A six-run second inning propeled the Madras High School baseball team to a 9-7 win against Molalla on Monday at Madras High School.

The White Buffalos were down 3-0 after the first inning, but they took advantage of two costly Molalla errors, plus an RBI double by Bryce Rehwinkel, to take control of the game.

"This was a big win for us," Madras coach Joe Dominiak said. "(Molalla) had all the momentum going, and we came back and played as a team. I have to give a lot of credit to the guys for doing that."

With the bases loaded in the top of the seventh inning, Molalla's Devon Schaefer came to the plate 3 for 4 on the day, and freshman reliever Austin Rauschenberg was in a tough spot.

A base hit would have tied the ballgame, and perhaps could have put the Indians head, but the rookie left-hander was able to get Molalla's best hitter to fly out to left field to end the game.

by: BILLY GATES/THE PIONEER - Madras freshman Austin Rauschenberg throws from the pitcher's mound during the Buffs' 9-7 win against Molalla on Monday in Madras."Austin did an outstanding job there," Dominiak said. "It was a big at-bat with their best hitter at the plate, and he got him to fly out."

The Buffs responded from the early deficit with the same tactic they have all season — forcing the opponent to make mistakes. After he singled to open the inning, Jack Fine went down to second after an Austin Rauschenberg walk, and then took off to steal third. The throw by Schaefer was high and wide of third base, which allowed Fine to trot home with the team's first run.

Rehwinkel then roped a double down the left field line to score Rauschenberg, and the Buffs tied the game when Alec McDonald scored on a wild pitch.

After the Buffs took the lead on a Devin Ceciliani RBI single, two more runs came across the plate for Madras following a Molalla fielding error to make the score 6-3 in Madras' favor.

The Buffs' starting pitcher, Fine, wasn't nearly as sharp as he has been, but Dominiak said he was "effective enough for five innings."

Fine had some help in the second inning when catcher Bear Spino wiped out a base runner, throwing out Tyler Erwin attempting to steal second base after he singled. Fine then pitched a scoreless third and allowed four runs in his final two innings of work.

"Jack was able to pitch well enough to get us a lead," Dominiak said. "We were able to get the ball to Austin for him to take care of the rest."

Fine came up big for the Buffs at the plate in the bottom of the fourth. With the bases loaded, Fine drilled a line drive into the outfield gap for a 2-run double to turn a 7-5 lead into a 9-5 advantage, which ended up being the difference in the game.

Cody Shepherd earned an RBI when he was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the at-bat before Fine.

Molalla's Jake Weishoff and Keaton Franco hit RBI singles for the Indians in the fifth, but that was all the offense they could muster.

Molalla outhit Madras 13-11, but Dominiak said anytime the Buffs get in a slugfest like this, he likes his team's chances.

"I always knew we could hit, and we've been focusing on that lately," Dominiak said. "Molalla came out and swung it well, but I'm pleased with how we well we're hitting it, too."

The Buffs have 22 hits in their past two games, both of which have been wins.

Fine finished the day going 2 for 3 with a double and two RBIs. McDonald was perfect at the plate with three singles in three trips to the plate.

Fine earned the pitching win for the Buffs, and Rauschenberg was credited with a save in his two innings of relief work.

Madras 8, Estacada 0

On Thursday in Estacada, Madras' Robert Fine turned in the pitching gem of the Tri-Valley Conference season thus far for thus far with a three-hit shutout.

He struck out eight in a complete-game performance, and was backed up by brother Jack Fine's 3-for-4 day at the plate.

Ceciliani went 2 for 4 with a triple, and Spino smacked two base hits for the Buffs in the victory.

Madras scored five runs in the seventh inning to turn a close game into a blowout. The game was scoreless until the Buffs pushed one run across in the fourth inning, then the offense starting producing runs.

Estacada 7, Madras 2

Last Tuesday at home, the Buffs committed five errors to drop the first Tri-Valley Conference game against the Rangers.

Ceciliani had the only extra-base hit for the Buffs with a double.



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