Short-handed Centennial slips past Scots
Tuesday, April 23
|David Douglas Scots|
PORTLAND — Centennial's baseball team came from behind twice to claim a 10-7 win at David Douglas in Tuesday's series opener between the two teams.
The Eagles made their winning push in the sixth inning when Tommy Hemmer tied the game with a single to center field, and Andrew Caron followed with a grounder to the left side to score Hemmer with the winning run.
Centennial tacked on a pair of insurance runs in the seventh with Jalen Knight sending a two-out double to right field.
Then came the tricky part.
Centennial's Dillon Hart tried to score on an error, bumping into Scots' catcher Spencer Roley in his attempt to reach the plate. The third out was called. Around the same time, several Eagles poured out of the dugout to move to their defensive positions.
Due to the collision play at home, high school rules require that any player out of the dugout at the time gets a mandatory ejection. That knocked four Eagles out of the game, and left head coach Eric Fogle to scratch together a defensive alignment with only eight available players.
He sent senior Ihe Gonzalez, who is new to baseball this year, to right field and chose to leave second base empty.
"I've never had to finish a game short players in all my years coaching," Fogle said. "Our pitchers had to go out and battle knowing we had no second baseman."
Alex Bates gobbled up a ground ball to get the lead-off hitter.
Centennial kept the tying run in the batter's box with Kyle Fitzgerald snagging a grounder at shortstop and Andrew Caron tracking down a foul ball next to third base to end the game.
The Eagles moved above .500 for the season and are one game behind Sandy for a spot in the top half of the Mount Hood Conference standings.
"It's the first time on varsity for a lot of these guys, so to be 10-9 and competing for a playoff spot is exciting," Fogle said. "It really gives us something to work for."
David Douglas held the upper hand early when Phil Morris sent an RBI-single to right field and would come around to score himself on a wild pitch later in the inning.
After leaving runners at third base in each of the first three innings, Centennial broke through with a five-run burst in the fourth highlighted by the first of two doubles by No. 8 hitter Jalen Knight.
"The second half of our lineup really stepped up today," Fogle said. "Every one of them came up with clutch hits."
David Douglas regained the lead with a four-run rally in the bottom of the fourth, going back on top with Colby Jones' two-run single to center field.
"So many times one team will take the lead and the other side crumbles, but this was just kids battling on both sides trying to scratch out a win," Fogle said.
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This story is slated for our Friday, April 26, print edition.