Big first inning helps Estacada claim victory
ESTACADA — In many instances, a ballgame can be won or lost in the first inning. Seaside found that out the hard way against Estacada.
Estacada exploded for five runs in the opening frame and never looked back as the Rangers defeated Seaside by a score of 9-6 on Tuesday afternoon.
"If we don't have that inning, we lose the game, so it was obviously huge," Estacada head coach Andrew Higgins said. "We still have some stuff to figure out with our lineup, but everyone was hitting the ball really well today."
After Jeremiah May started off the first inning by reaching on an error, Wyatt Riedel knocked him in with a RBI-double to the right-center field wall. Jared Weaver then reached with a free pass, which was followed by Mateo Burgos coming through with an RBI-double of his own, putting the Rangers up 2-0. Kayden Settle would then knock in Weaver with and advance Burgos to third with an RBI-groundout to second base.
The bottom of the Estacada order kept the rally going when an infield single by Kayden Settle brought home Burgos. Settle got into scoring position by stealing second and then eventually registered Estacada's fifth run after Brandon Thornhill hit the Rangers third RBI-double of the inning.
"We definitely stepped it up at the plate," Riedel said. "It was big for setting the tone…We have started to get more confident in what we do in these last couple games."
Estacada also made it apparent that they wanted to be a lot more aggressive on the base paths — the Rangers ended up swiping seven bags on the day.
"We're always wanting to be aggressive on the bases," Higgins said. "We haven't been running bases up to our standards coming into today so that was really a point of emphasis."
Caleb Johnson got in on the action in the bottom of the third with an RBI single to put Estacada up 6-0. Johnson would score on an error moments later to increase the Rangers lead to 7-0.
On the mound, May was very impressive in his first four innings of work. After giving up a leadoff walk in the top of the first, the junior right-hander retired the next 12 batters his faced — seven of which came via strikeout.
Look for extended coverage in the March 29 print edition.