Sam leads the way on Friday, fanning 12 in a two-hitter

Hard work finally paid dividends for Milwaukie High School’s youthful baseball team last weekend, as the Mustang swept a three-game series from Parkrose, winning 3-0 in a home game on Friday, and 7-6 and 6-2 in two games played on the artificial turf at Sandy High School on Saturday.

The three wins snapped a Mustang losing skid at nine games.

Senior captain Randall Sam rallied the troops on Friday, striking out 12, walking two and allowing only two hits in a complete-game win, and also driving in two of the Mustangs’ three runs.

“Randall was huge for us,” said Milwaukie coach Phil Marchant. “He’s our senior leader and he helped us win with his arm and his bat and his attitude.... He only faced 27 batters. It’s the best he’s pitched all year.”

The Mustangs showed up ready to play, scoring all three of their runs in the first inning and supporting Sam with near error-free defensive play.”

Freshman Cole Roberts got things started in the first with a lead-off single. He stole second and scored on a base hit by sophomore Matthew Yerman.

Sophomore Gunner Murk singled, the runners advanced on a passed ball, and Sam followed with a two-run single.

Parkrose’s biggest scoring threat came in the top of the fifth, when the Broncs loaded the bases on two walks and a hit batsman. Sam got a called third strike to get the Mustangs out of the inning with no damage done.

Sam (2-for-3) and Yerman (2-for-3) had two hits apiece to lead the Mustangs in a six-hit attack.

Saturday’s wins both came in barnburners. The Mustangs scored five runs in the top of the seventh of both games.

With his club trailing 2-1, freshman Riley Howard led off the seventh of Saturday’s opener with a base hit. Sophomore Darrin King and Roberts followed with base hits to knot the score at 3-3 with one down.

Consecutive walks by Yerman and Murk pushed another run across.

Sam them crushed a bases clearing double to make it a 7-3 ball game.

But the Broncos weren’t ready to give up without a fight. They pushed three runs across in the bottom of the seventh before the Mustangs were able to get the final out, courtesy of a Bronco baserunning mistake. Milwaukie third baseman Aaron Wenger bobbled a ground ball, which allowed the third run of the inning to score. But just after the run scored, a Parkrose baserunner ran into Wenger’s tag at third, ending the game.

Led by Sam (3-for-4, double), Yerman (2-for-4) and King (2-for-4), the Mustangs outhit the Broncos 10-4.

The Mustangs trailed 2-1 heading into the seventh inning of Saturday’s nightcap.

The Mustangs parlayed two walks, a hit batter and three hits into five runs in that seventh-inning comeback. And all of the damage was done with two down, as the Mustangs started the inning with two strikeouts.

Yerman ignited a spark when he drew a two-out walk. Murk walked on four pitches, and Sam’s double to left-center plated Yerman and Murk for the tying and winning runs.

Wenger and junior Maxx True added insurance, Wenger with a run-scoring base hit, and True with a two-run triple.

Freshman lefty Brad McVay and Wenger were tough on the mound, combining for five strikeouts, while yielding four hits.

“We played some really good baseball,” said Marchant. “We overcame some minor errors, and showed that we’re getting better, and we can compete.”

Milwaukie improved to 3-6 in the Northwest Oregon Conference (6-11 overall) with the sweep of Parkrose.

Kingsmen drop three

The Mustangs return to Sandy (9-8, 6-3) this week for a series with the Pioneers, hosting Sandy this afternoon, and playing the Pioneers on the road on Friday.

Milwaukie squares off with cross-town rival Putnam next week. The Kingsmen (9-8, 5-4) had a rough week last week, dropping three games to Sandy, 4-3, 10-3 and 12-8.

“We struggled to get timely hitting,” said Putnam coach Jason Stanley. “Plus we made some costly errors. We made more errors last week than we’d made all season.”

Because of inclement weather, all three games were played on the road, two on the artificial turf field at Sandy and one on the artificial turf at Clackamas.

Leading 3-1, the Kingsmen let the April 22 game at Sandy get away from them. Sandy stole the win, scoring three runs in the top of the fifth on two walks, a groundout, a sacrifice bunt and two run-scoring base hits.

Putnam earned a 5-3 edge in hitting in the loss. Alex Martin (3 hits, 5 walks, one strikeout) pitched the first six innings; Sean Deford finished up.

Trace Loehr had a two-run single for Putnam in the second inning and Martin had a run-scoring sacrifice fly in the first frame.

Five errors proved costly in the 10-3 loss to the Pioneers. All 10 Sandy runs were unearned.

Loehr (2-for-2, double, 3 stolen bases) and Jesse Countrymen (2-for-3) led Putnam at the plate.

One bad inning told the story in Saturday’s makeup game with the Pioneers at Clackamas. The Pioneers scored seven runs in the second inning when they strung together four hits with two walks, a hit batter and one error.

The game was a slugfest, with the two teams pounding out 25 hits between them.

Loehr (3-for-3, 3 runs, home run, triple) led off the game with a solo home run; Josh Bancroft (3-for-4) had a hot bat for the Kingsmen, driving in five runs with a two-run home run and two doubles.

The Kingsmen have a three-game series with Parkrose this week, hosting the Broncos this afternoon and playing them on the road on Friday.

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