Centennial struggles to connect vs. Cleveland
MILWAUKIE — Centennial's baseball team struck first, but did not stay on top for long in an 8-1 loss to Cleveland in a game played under the lights Friday at Rex Putnam's new turf field.
Kyle Fitzgerald roped the second pitch of the game into left field, then stole second base. He would go in motion again when Landan Fery punched a two-out ground ball through the middle to bring Fitzgerald home.
It would prove to be the Eagles only run of the night.
The Warriors came up with three hits in their half of the inning, highlighted by J. Cobb's RBI-double to left field, to claim a 3-1 lead.
Centennial's Fery came to the mound in the fourth inning and was put to the test immediately with a high-bouncing come backer that he gloved at his chin before making the toss to first base to get the lead-off hitter.
Cleveland would get a sacrifice fly from Nick Brink to stretch the lead to 6-1 before Centennial catcher Elijah Sanders caught a runner stealing second to end the inning.
Centennial made its final charge in the fifth inning when Sanders smacked a fly ball that was dropped in left field. Rather than settling in safely at first, Sanders rounded the base and darted to second. He slid in face first, as did the Cleveland shortstop, but Sanders touched in safely just ahead of the tag.
Fitzgerald and Cameron Nolander drew back-to-back walks to load the bases with one out but Cleveland reliever Logan Geiszler struck out the next two batters to end the threat.
Cleveland's pitching duo of Brink and Gieszler combined for 19 strikeouts.
Christian Roberts led the Centennial bats by going 2-for-2 at the plate.
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This story is slated for our Tuesday, March 19, print edition.