Centennial makes its playoff push
Tuesday, April 30
TROUTDALE — Centennial's baseball team moved into the top half of the Mount Hood Conference standings for the first time this season after a 9-3 road win in the series opener at Reynolds on Tuesday.
The Eagles took a 4-2 lead midway through the game when Landan Fery sent a triple into the left-field corner. Cameron Nolander sent a sacrifice fly to right field in the next at-bat that opened the door for Fery to slide home just ahead of the throw.
"I saw the ball going to mid-shallow right field and I got on my horse and made it home," Fery said. "We wanted to make sure we built up that insurance."
Centennial continued to poke numbers onto the scoreboard in the sixth inning with Fery sending a sacrifice fly to center field, followed by Nolander showing for a bunt. The pitch exploded off his bat and traveled nearly the full first-base line, allowing Andrew Caron to come home without a challenge.
Two batters later, pinch-hitter Jalen Knight sent a shot to center field to build the Eagles' lead to 7-2.
Centennial applied the finishing touch in the seventh when Kyle Fitzgerald lifted a shot over the left fielder's head for a triple, and he zipped home on the play when he noticed the throw to the infield coming in wide.
"Off the bat, I thought it was going to get caught, but I came around first and saw the ball hit and just kept going," Fitzgerald said.
Fery completed the scoring with an RBI-double to left field.
The top half of Centennial's batting order hit 11-for-20 (.550) with five extra-base hits. Tommy Hemmer led that group with a trio of singles.
The win combined with Sandy's 1-0 loss to Barlow, pushed the Eagles into fourth place in the league standings.
"This was a big game, we can't afford to lose another one — it's really important that we sweep this series," Fitzgerald said.
The teams play at Centennial on Thursday and close out the three-game set back at Reynolds Middle School at 5 p.m. Friday.
The Eagles (12-10) are five spots out of the last wildcard spot.
Fery hit a sacrifice fly, and Alex Bates drew a bases-loaded walk to put Centennial up 2-0 in the first inning — a lead it would hold the entire game.
Centennial went to its bullpen late in the fifth inning, and the duo of Davis Landolt and Dillon Hart combined to allow one hit down the stretch.
Drexler Dickey led the Raiders by hitting 3-for-3 with a double and scoring twice.
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This story is slated for our Friday, May 3, print edition.