Buffs to meet Pelicans in play-in


Win against Molalla sealed playoff spot for Madras baseball

The Madras High School baseball team secures its spot in the postseason with a 4-2 win against Molalla on Wednesday at Madras High School.

They dropped a 4-2 decision on Friday to Tri-Valley Conference champion North Marion to end the regular season, but the Buffs finished tied for third with Gladstone, with a 7-8 record. Madras held the tiebreaker for the final automatic postseason big with its 2-1 series win against the Gladiators.

The reward for finishing third in the conference for the Buffs is traveling to Klamath Falls for a date with the Klamath Union Pelicans in a Class 4A play-in game. The game will be at 3:30 p.m. Friday at Steens Sports Park.

Madras ended the season at No. 21 in the OSAA Class 4A power ratings with a 13-11 overall mark. The Pelicans, the third-place team from the Skyline Conference, ended at No. 11 in the power ratings, also with a 13-11 overall record.

The winner of the game will advance to the first round of the OSAA playoffs, scheduled to begin May 22.

Against Molalla, the Buffs took control of the game following Devon Wolfe’s two-run double in the fourth inning. Wolfe hit a looping shallow fly ball that had some sideways spin on it, and skipped away from the trio of Molalla fielders trying to corral it. Wolfe hustled into second base, while Bear Spino and Devin Ceciliani scored to give the Buffs a 3-2 lead.

That was all Madras starting pitcher Robert Fine needed to finish the game off. Fine allowed just two runners past first base after the third inning, and went the distance on the hill. He struck out three and walked four, but gave up just five hits and two runs in 29 batters faced. He threw 85 pitches, 56 for strikes.

Jake Weishoff and Riley James knocked singles for Molalla in the seventh inning to start a little rally with one out, but Fine struck out Luke Ellis for the second out.

Madras head coach Joe Dominiak decided to intentionally walk Molalla’s Devon Schaefer to load the bases, and then freshman Kurt Potter grounded out to end the game.

The Buffs picked up an insurance run in the fifth when Cody Shepherd was hit in the shoulder with the bases loaded. He was the third hit batsman of the inning.

Madras scored its first run when Shepherd scampered home on a deep double by Jack Fine. Fine got a little greedy, though, and tried to stretch the hit into a triple. He was thrown out at third, but drove in the run to tie the game at 1-1 in the second inning.

Wolfe went 2 for 3 for the Buffs with two RBIs, Andrew Fine was 1 for 2 and Jack Fine went 1 for 3 with an RBI double.

Madras had six hits off Molalla starter Zane Shultz.

Against North Marion, it was Madras that loaded the bases in the seventh inning, only to come away without any runs, and lose 4-2, Friday in Aurora.

North Marion scored all four of its run in the second inning.

Shepherd doubled twice and drove in a run for the Buffs, and Austin Rauschenberg also drove in a run.