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After opening with two blowout losses, Molalla rebounds with a strong effort in Thursday's game

After shaking the rust off with a pair of losses again North Marion (19-0 and 21-0), the Molalla High baseball team got things going a bit in a Thursday matchup with Estacada.

Though Molalla lost by a 9-8 score, head coach Gary Miller said he saw plenty of improvement.

"We faced a tough North Marion team on Monday and Wednesday, which gave us a chance to shake the rust off and get ready for Estacada," Miller said. "Our bats came to life on Thursday and we put up eight runs in a hard-fought battle."

FILE PHOTO - The Molalla High baseball team got its season off to a rocky start early, but then showed its potential later in the week.

Miller said that his squad had too many errors – seven – in the contest, but spoke well of his pitching.

"Isaac Klementis had a quality start, going four innings and giving up only 2 hits and no earned runs while striking out nine."

He did surrender three walks and, combined with the errors, that led to some early runs for Estacada. Tucker Ward came in and "did a good job," according to Miller.

Molalla's bats came to life after struggling in the first two games. Tony Morfin went 2-for-4, scored three runs and had an RBI. Evan McEachran got the team's first RBI of the year and drew three walks while scoring twice. Mike Stephens had a big day, going 3-for-4 with 2 RBIs.

"(Freshman) Zach Clinton had a solid day behind the plate blocking balls and keeping runners at bay," Miller said. "Will Mason had some good plays in right field and was able to score a run for us.

"Overall, it was a rough start to the week, but we rebounded and played very well Thursday," Miller added. "We are a young team and we were not able to field a JV team this year. We plan on being competitive this year and our goal is to get better every day."

Up next is a return engagement against Estacada (Monday), as well as a Wednesday-Thursday two-game set with Corbett.

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