Drexler Dickey homers twice in playoff win
|Mt. Hood Select|
MILWAUKIE — Drexler Dickey, yes he is named after the former Trail Blazer great, saved the day for Reynolds with some seventh-inning heroics to lead the Raiders past Mt. Hood Select 5-4 in the opening game of the OIBA summer baseball playoffs Thursday at Rex Putnam High School.
Trailing 4-1 heading into its final at-bats, the Raiders got a winning rally going when Steve Kovac swung through on a pitch, taking a peek at the ball as it slipped past a glove and rolled into left field for a single. Jordan Castner followed with a pinch-hit single to left field that loaded the bases with nobody out.
Alex Hendrickson put a ground ball in play to bring across a run, then stole second base opening the door at home plate for another run to score.
Down only one run, Raider players were standing along the dugout fence as Dickey stepped into the batter's box.
Moments later, they would be rushing out of the dugout to greet their teammate after Dickey smashed a two-run homer far over the left-field fence for the winning runs.
"It was thrilling. I saw the left fielder turn and stop running, and my first thought was this is just amazing," Dickey said. "Coming into the game I had no home runs all summer and that was in the back of my mind."
Dickey homered to the same part of the field in the third inning to provide Reynolds its first run of the day.
Despite the big hit, Reynolds could not go into full celebration mode until it collected its three outs in the bottom of the inning.
Drexler trotted to the mound to finish his complete-game effort.
Kovac gobbled up a ground ball at third base, and Dickey nabbed a one-hopper at the mound for two quick outs.
Mt. Hood put up some resistance when Christian Roberts saw a single touch down just ahead of the glove of a diving Raider in left field. Next up, Spencer Roley reached on an interference call at the plate, and the Select squad had the tying run in scoring position.
Reynolds extinguished the threat in a hurry when Dickey gloved a head-high hopper on the mound and sprinted to first base himself to ensure the final out.
"It was nerve racking. I didn't want to go out there and give the game back to them," Dickey said. "It felt good to run over to first and get that last out."
Mt. Hood put the first runs on the board on Dakota Lohmeier's RBI-double in the second inning and expanded to a 4-1 lead on Jermaine Robinson's two-run single in the fourth.
The Reynolds defense kept the game within reach when shortstop Ethan Jerome took several quick strides to his left and gloved a grounder in front of second base. He flipped the ball to teammate Jacob Hendrickson, who took a tumble but not before releasing a throw to first base for the inning-ending double play.
The sixth inning came to a close in a similar fashion with Jerome scooping up a grounder, stomping on second base only to have his throw to first blocked when the base runner stayed on his feet. Reynolds coach Kyle Swoboda challenged the initial no call, and the umpires ruled interference after a brief conversation.
"We've been working hard on those drills all summer, quick feet, quick hands, make the turn, and we came out and executed it perfectly today," Jerome said. "We kept believing we could come back."
Dickey struck out five during his complete-game effort, while Dickey, Kovac, Alex Hendrickson and Chase Baldwin all finished with multiple hits.
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Raiders fall 10-3 to Gladstone in quarterfinals
Reynolds returned to the field Friday and dropped a 10-3 decision to Gladstone, which put up five runs in its first at-bats.
The Raiders responded with a two-out rally in the second that saw Alex Hendrickson beat out an infield hit for an RBI-single, and Ethan Jerome bang a two-run triple to left field to close the gap to 5-3.
Reynolds was unable to push across anything else over the final five innings.
Hendrickson led the Raider bats by going 4-for-4 at the top of the lineup.
This story is slated for our Friday, July 30, print edition.
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