Buffs lose to North Marion in quartefinals game
The White Buffalos' playoff run came to an end when they traveled to face the No. 2 ranked North Marion. The baseball team lost 5-0 in the state playoff quarterfinals.
Tyler Lockey started on the mound for the White Buffalos and recorded eight strikeouts in five innings pitched. Cameron Rodriguez came in to pitch in the sixth inning and struck out two batters in one inning.
"Making it to the quarterfinals felt really good; it was the first time we went in my four years at Madras," Lockey said. "This team was expecting hard games and it was fun playing in them."
Lockey was the first batter up for Madras and delivered a ground ball of the middle for a base hit. Byron Patt hit a line drive in the gap between right and center field, putting runners on first and third, but Madras could not hit them home.
In the bottom of the second inning, Bryce Lemon hit a ground ball up the middle for North Marion. Brady Hansen came up to bat next and laid down a bunt for a hit, advancing the runner. Andy Schmitz hit an RBI double to left field, scoring the first run of the game. Nic Lliyn laid down another bunt for the Huskies, scoring two more runs. North Marion took a 3-0 lead early.
Rodriguez hit a line drive to right field in the third inning, but the Buffs remained scoreless.
In the fourth inning, North Marion scored on a sacrifice bunt and later scored another run on a ground ball between first and second, taking a 5-0 lead.
"We knew exactly what they were going to do, but they said here is what we are going to do; try and stop us," he said. "We made a couple mental mistakes and had some miscommunication on a bunt. When teams execute small ball really well, it is hard to beat and that is what they did."
Madras and North Marion were both held scoreless the rest of the game and the Huskies moved on to the semifinals.
Patt, Rodriguez, Lockey and Liam White all recorded hits for the White Buffalos.
"They executed small ball really well, which this team (Madras) has never really experienced before," said Lewis Fine. "They showed why they were the No. 2 team in state."
"At the start of the year, everyone was doubting us, but if you do not give up, you can do good things, so it was fun to make a good run," he said.
"North Marion is well-coached and they execute very well, which we knew coming in," said coach Sam McCormick. "All things considered, if we make a couple more plays it is really a 2-0 ballgame. Offensively, we tried to do a little too much. This is a great environment to play in and I think our eyes got a little too big."
"It was really cool to be a part of everything with our guys," said McCormick. "The guys aren't going to remember this (the game), they are going to remember the celebrations and the dogpiles."
"This season was great," he said. "Last year, I think we underachieved and I will take responsibility for that, but this year, we started really good, had some off-field issues and a lot of people wrote us off and doubted us. I think when people stopped believing in these kids, the team stopped believing in themselves."
"We strung a few together and got our confidence back," said McCormick. "We played really good baseball when we needed to, beating Mazama and Astoria in 11 innings. Some baseball players go their whole career without ever getting to dogpile and we got to do it twice in one week. That is the special stuff these guys can look back on. I really hope that this teamed learned that if you don't ever give up, good things will happen."