Link to Owner Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr.



With the OSAA rankings frozen for 4A baseball and softball, the teams at Madras High School now know their playoff draw.

The Madras High School baseball and softball teams finally know their postseason fates.

Following the freezing of the OSAA's computer rankings late Tuesday, May 17, the Buffs now know their play-in round matchups for the postseason. Here is a quick breakdown of who the White Buffalos will face and where, as well as some notes about each opponent.

PMG FILE PHOTO - The Madras baseball team will host Elmira/Triangle Lake later this week in the play-in round of the postseason. The winner will advance to the final 16-team bracket in the OSAA 4A Baseball State Championship tournament.

Baseball: No. 17 Elmira/Triangle Lake @ No. 16 Madras

There will be at least one more baseball game in Madras.

While the team's third-place finish in the Tri-Valley Conference was good enough to earn an automatic berth to the postseason, the Buffs' computer ranking created doubt as to whether they would host or travel in the play-in round. Those worries were put to bed last night, as Madras secured the eighth and final hosting spot for the opening games. Madras (14-9, 9-6 Tri-Valley) finished No. 16 in the OSAA computer rankings and, as a result, will host No. 17 Elmira/Triangle Lake (10-14, 5-10 Sky Em) in the play-in round to determine which team advances to the 16-team tournament bracket.

The Falcons finished in fourth place in the Sky Em League, a conference that features two top-10 squads (Marist Catholic, Junction City) and another that is hosting its own play-in game (Marshfield). So, while the team's record may not jump off the page, Elmira has been playing some very tough opponents all year long. The Falcons have lost nine of their past 11 games, and they failed to win a single game against a league opponent with a better record than their own. In fact, even in non-league play, Elmira has only beaten one team all year long that finished with a record above .500 — Pleasant Hill, the No. 6 team in 3A baseball.

Elmira will likely run out 6-foot-3 senior Troy Anderson on the mound, though fellow seniors Hunter Stockinger and Connor Stark are also candidates to toe the rubber. Beau Koffler, a senior catcher, has some pop in his bat, as do sophomore middle infielders Trentyn Herbert and Ethan Bennett. As a team, Elmira scored 163 runs this season compared to 186 runs allowed, giving them a minus-23 run differential. Madras, on the other hand, has a differential of plus-92 after scoring 200 runs and only letting in 108.

The Buffs should be the favorites in this game, and the winner will advance to the first round of the 4A playoffs on Monday, May 23. The eight winners from the play-in round will join the eight schools that earned byes into the first-round either by winning their league or by being one of the two best second-place teams. The tournament will be seeded after the play-in round, so Madras' potential second-round opponent is up in the air. However, if every home team wins in the play-in, then Madras would be locked into a game against Banks, the No. 1 team in the state. As such, the Buffs may be rooting for at least one upset in the play-in round — so long as it doesn't come against them.

The date and time for the game has yet to be determined; however, per OSAA rules, the contest will take place on or before Saturday, March 21.

PMG PHOTO: ANDY DIECKHOFF - In March, sophomore Rylan Davis (left) and senior Lilly Libokmeto (right) went to Coos Bay for the 4A girls basketball playoffs. They'll be back on the south coast this week, as Madras faces Marshfield in a play-in game.

Softball: No. 19 Madras @ No. 12 Marshfield

Madras High School will be making yet another trip to Coos Bay.

Following a win over North Marion on Monday, May 16, to secure third-place in the Tri-Valley Conference, No. 19 Madras was matched up with No. 12 Marshfield in the play-in round of the 4A postseason — making them the third sports team from MHS to make a playoff road trip down to the south coast. The Madras football team faced off with the Pirates in the first round of the playoffs in November, while the girls basketball team won their third-place trophy in Marshfield's gymnasium. As it stands, Madras is 2-2 in sporting events played in Coos Bay this season, so the softball team will look to break that tie with an upset win over the Pirates this week.

Marshfield (14-11, 10-5 Sky Em) comes into the postseason having won nine of its final 12 games as they ready to host Madras (13-11, 9-6 Tri-Valley). While three of the Pirates' losses in league play came against Marist Catholic, the No. 1 team in the state, they also dropped games in recent weeks against No. 18 Elmira/Mapleton and No. 20 Junction City. Those results should give Madras some hope that an upset is possible.

The Pirates will most likely throw out freshman Tatum Montiel or sophomore Jayla Johnson in the circle, as they have done for most of the season. The most potent hitter in the lineup appears to be sophomore Gracie Peach, who splits time on defense behind the plate and in the outfield. Montiel also has some power in her bat, hitting three home runs during league play. The Pirates are plus-53 in run differential, having scored 232 runs while allowing only 179 to score. Conversely, Madras comes into the game with a minus-34 differential, with 182 runs to their tally and 216 against.

As such, Marshfield will be favored to win this contest — but this Madras team has traveled well during the season. The Buffs are 5-2 in true road games this season, a mark that includes wins over fellow 4A playoff teams Corbett and Gladstone, as well as a victory over 6A Mountain View. With its season on the line earlier this week, Madras traveled two hours to pull out a win over North Marion on a neutral field in Estacada. While travel may be a problem for some teams, the White Buffalos have done well on the road this year.

The date and time for the game has yet to be determined; however, per OSAA rules, the contest will take place on or before Saturday, March 21.

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