Prep Roundup, April 20-22: Madras baseball wins on a walk-off hit
FRIDAY, APRIL 22
Culver softball splits with Crook County JV — The Culver softball team didn't get much of a non-league season, jumping straight into league play after having some earlier games fall off the schedule.
The Bulldogs were able to get two games with the Crook County JV baseball team on Friday, though, to help build out their season record a bit more. The Cowgirls were dominant in the first game, winning 18-9, but the Bulldogs came back in the second game of the double-header for an 8-5 win in Prineville.
Culver freshman Dakota Tanori started the first game, which lasted just five innings, and she was relieved by junior Kayden Benningfield for the final three innings. Unfortunately, neither could stem the tide of a strong Crook County offense that racked up 12 hits and eight walks in Game 1. Haleigh St. Clair, a freshman, went 3-for-3 at the plate in the opener, including a triple and two stolen bases. The Bulldogs finished with 11 stolen bases in the game, led by junior Hensley Wachter's four.
In the second game, Wachter was in the circle for all five innings, picking up the win. The junior struck out 10 Crook County batters, the fourth time she has reached double digits in the strikeout department this season. Wachter also stole three more bases on the offensive side of things.
Benningfield started off the scoring with an RBI single, and she led the baserunning charge with four steals in the second game, including a steal of home. The junior was one of five Culver batters to record multiple hits in Game 2, and she was joined by freshmen St. Clair, Tanori, Jorja Nelson and Yureima Vega.
Culver resumes league play on Monday, April 25, with a trip to Halsey to take on Central Linn. Then, the Bulldogs go to Mt. Angel for a double-header with Special District 2 leader Kennedy on Tuesday, April 26.
THURSDAY, APRIL 21
Vibbert's walk-off helps Madras baseball to split — Thanks to a huge comeback in the bottom of the seventh inning, the White Buffalo baseball team beat Gladstone 8-7 in the first game of Thursday's double-header in Madras.
Trailing 7-3 going into the final frame, junior Cael White knocked in senior T.J. Stout with a one-out single to bring the Buffs within three runs. After Ayden Holcomb walked to load the bases, fellow junior Dru Boyle drove in a pair with his own single to left field. In the next at-bat, senior Ethan Graeme doubled in the tying run and put Boyle on third base with just one out. That brought up sophomore Noah Vibbert, who smacked a 2-0 pitch into left field to give the Buffs a walk-off win.
"The resiliency of these guys is huge," said head coach Jerry Shaw after the comeback victory. "They came back. They didn't let it get to them. That's been my biggest challenge to them — one inning at a time, one at-bat, one pitch. Let things go. Don't dwell on what's happened."
That focus was on full display when the White Buffalos needed it most in the first game.
Hayden Smith pitched six strong innings for Gladstone, but he was chased after recording the only out in the seventh as the Buffs began their comeback. The Gladiators brought in two relievers to try to save the game, but neither Isiah Conner nor Ethan Walch were to produce an out against a suddenly surging Madras offense.
For the Buffs, senior Reece White started the game on the mound. White lasted four innings and was out there for all seven Gladstone runs, though four Madras errors left him responsible for just two of those. Boyle pitched the final three innings in relief to grab the win, and he allowed just one run while striking out four Gladiator hitters.
Unfortunately for Madras, the comeback served as fuel for a strong Gladstone team.
As they did in the first game, the Gladiators used a big inning to build a sizeable lead over the Buffs. Gladstone put up six runs in the third inning to take a 7-1 lead, and that would be all the scoring that would happen in Game 2 of the double-header. The game lasted just six innings due to time constraints.
Graeme started the second game for the White Buffalos, giving up four earned runs over three and two-thirds innings. The Buffs committed two more errors on the day to help the Glads score three more runs with Graeme on the bump.
As he did in the first game, Boyle came in as a relief pitcher for the final four outs in Game 2. The junior allowed no runs and just one hit, lowering his earned run average (ERA) to 0.62 on the year. Boyle has allowed just one run all season long, in more than 11 innings of work that includes two starts. He is also second on the team in batting average, with his .468 mark trailing only Holcomb, whose average sits at .600 after two 1-for-3 performances in Thursday's games.
With these results, Madras' season record now stands at 6-6 overall and 1-3 in Tri-Valley play. The Buffs will be back at it this weekend as they make up two games with Corbett that were postponed due to bad weather last week. Madras will host the Cardinals in a double-header on Saturday, April 23. First pitch is scheduled for noon at Madras High School.
Madras softball bounces back against Gladstone — After a sleepy first game that saw Gladstone prevail 19-4, the Madras softball team woke up in Game 2 and held on for a 14-8 win over the Gladiators.
Hope King was in the circle for both games, and the Madras junior noted a marked difference in the team's two performances.
"Our bats just weren't really alive the first game," said King, who serves as the team's leadoff hitter as well as its primary starting pitcher. "In the second game, you could tell that we were all a little frustrated with everything going on, so we started racking them up early in the game."
With two Tri-Valley series in the books, King feels good about how the Buffs stack up.
"I'm pretty confident in us as we go on in the season," said the junior, who is looking to increase her strikeout count. "Today was a little rocky against Gladstone in the first game, but we came together as a team and battled back."
Madras now sits in second place in the Tri-Valley with a 3-1 record in league play and a 7-6 mark overall. The Buffs' season continues with a road trip to Molalla on Monday, April 25, with those two teams then squaring off in Madras on Wednesday, April 27.
Bulldogs dominate Colton in double-header — Culver baseball was nearly perfect Thursday, shutting out Colton in both legs of a home double-header to improve to 8-2 in Special District 2.
In the first game, senior Gabe Wilson was virtually unhittable as he threw all five innings and recorded a season-high 11 strikeouts in the Bulldogs' 10-0 shutout. Colton managed just three baserunners all game, while Culver's patience at the plate — and four Viking errors — led to 10 runs on just five hits.
In the second game, the Bulldogs beat the Vikings 11-0 behind another masterful start, this time from Houston Wittenburg. The Culver freshman tossed four innings of scoreless baseball, racking up six strikeouts to just three hits and zero walks. Fellow freshman Carlos Fernandez closed the game by striking out the side in the bottom of the fifth inning, triggering the 10-run mercy rule.
Following Thursday's games, Culver technically sits in first place in the district. While Kennedy, the No. 2 team in 2A baseball, has the better win percentage with their 7-1 league record, Culver's 8-2 mark puts them the same six games over .500 with more games played.
The Bulldogs are scheduled to have a week off to close out April, as original opponent Salem Academy canceled its baseball season. Culver returns to action Tuesday, May 3, on the road at Sheridan.
Culver softball edges Santiam for 7-6 win — The Bulldog softball squad improved to 4-1 on the season and 3-1 in Tri-River play after defeating Santiam on Thursday afternoon in Culver.
After spotting the Wolverines three runs in the top of the first inning, Culver rebounded with three of its own in the bottom half of the frame thanks to timely hits and the Bulldogs' aggressive brand of baserunning. With Kayden Benningfield at the plate, both Haleigh St. Clair and Hensley Wachter stole home — before Benningfield launched a double that brought in Shanti Rosales to tie the game at 3-3.
The Bulldogs tacked on a run in each of the next two innings and added two more in the fifth to take a 7-3 lead. In the process, Wachter grabbed an RBI double, Rosales stole home twice and Benningfield came across the plate following a Santiam error.
Culver had to hold on tightly to close out the game, though, as the Wolverines gave the Bulldogs a taste of their own medicine. Santiam stole home three times in the sixth and seventh innings, bringing the score to 7-6 with two outs in the game. Thankfully for the hometown team, Santiam's next hitter was called out due to interference — putting an abrupt end to the nailbiter.
With the win, Culver pulled into a virtual tie with Santiam for second place in Special District 2. Both teams are two games over .500, with the Wolverines sitting at 4-2 — and both trail Kennedy, which remains undefeated through six league games.
Madras boys tennis narrowly beats Woodburn — After both the boys and girls tennis teams fell to Cascade earlier in the week, the Madras boys prevailed over Woodburn 4-3 on Thursday.
Riley Adair and Theo Miller picked up singles wins in the No. 1 and No. 4 slots, respectively. The Buffs also got doubles victories from their No. 2 pairing of Matias Ruiz Jr./Julian Santellano and the No. 3 team of Phillip Arthur/Cruz Fisher. There was not a No. 4 doubles contest.
It was the second win of the week for the Ruiz/Santellano team, which scored the only Madras victory on the road against Cascade on Tuesday, April 19. The girls were also held to just one win in their home meet with Cascade on Tuesday, with senior Karman Sangha grabbing the team's only win in the No. 3 singles position.
Both teams continue their seasons on Thursday, April 28, with matches against Estacada starting at 4 p.m. The boys will be at home, while the girls will make the road trip to face the Rangers.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 20
Miranda, Burgi shine for Culver track and field — While Crook County was celebrating its Senior Night on Wednesday, Peter Miranda and Hudson Burgi had their own cause for celebration.
Miranda took first place and set a new personal record in the process, thanks to his heave of 42 feet and 10.5 inches. He also took fourth in the discus with a toss of 106-09. Miranda's shot put distance now ranks second in 2A Special District 5, and the junior currently ranks fifth in the discus.
Burgi, meanwhile, won the boys long jump with a leap of 17-06.75. The Culver sophomore possesses the fifth-best long jump mark in District 5 to this point, thanks to the 18-00 he registered last week in Bend. Burgi also placed second in the 800 and fourth in the 400.
Elsewhere in the field, junior Uriel Mejia also continued a strong first season in the javelin. Mejia took third overall in the event and set a new personal best with a throw of 129-01. That mark is currently the sixth-best in Special District 5.
On the track, Dustin Noy had the most success for Culver. The sophomore finished third in both the 100 and 200, setting a new personal best in the former with a time of 12.02 seconds.
All in all, the Culver boys finished with 168 team points to place fourth out five teams at the meet, prevailing over the joint team from Mitchell-Spray (150) to stay out of the basement. Redmond won the boys event with 348 points to Crook County's 316. Sisters came in third with 224 points.
The girls team brought a smaller group than normal to Prineville, a reality that was reflected in the team scores. Without the services of two of its top athletes — Renee Johnson, first in the district in the 100 hurdles and second in the 100, and Olivia Rydman, fifth in the 800 — the Bulldogs finished with just 26 points to place last among the five varsity teams in competition. Crook County dominated the day with 468 points, easily outscoring Redmond (292), Sisters (276) and Mitchell-Spray (90).
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