Madras ends Baker's season

By Gerry Steele May 24, 2012 02:46 pm


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Baker’s Class 4A first-round state baseball game against Madras Wednesday had the same earmarks as the Bulldogs’ extra-inning play-in game against Crook County a few days earlier.

That is, Baker fell behind early, trailed most of the game, then mounted a seventh-inning bid to tie or win the game.

Against Crook County, Baker prevailed 9-8. But, against Madras the Bulldogs fell a run short, dropping a 4-3 contest at the Baker Sports Complex.

“It was a game we could have won,” said Baker coach Dan Blankenship.

“We struck out way too many times, and had a couple of baserunning errors.”

Madras left-hander Kyle Palmer struck out a dozen Bulldogs, but he also walked eight.

Madras took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning when catcher Jordan Brown, who finished the game 3-for-3, led off with a single. An out later, Andrew Fine, who finished with four RBIs, rapped an RBI single.

Baker answered in the bottom of the inning, without benefit of a hit.

Sam Averett led off with a walk and was sacrificed to second by Mason Cline. Averett advanced to third on a passed ball.

Then, with two outs, Colten Richards walked. Richards then attempted a walkoff steal of second and Palmer’s pickoff throw went into right field allowing Averett to score from third.

Madras regained a 3-1 edge in the fifth on a two-run single by Fine.

Again Baker answered in the bottom of the inning.

Keaton Bachman reached base on an error but was forced at second on a ground ball by Darren Dolby. Dolby advanced to second on a balk call on Palmer, and went to third on a single by Averett.

Dolby then scored on a sacrifice fly to left by Cline. Cline just missed a home run as Madras left-fielder Cody Shepherd made the catch with his back against the fence.

Madras scored what proved to be the winning run in the top of the seventh. Bob Fine was hit by a pitch and two outs later scored on a single by Andrew Fine.

That set the stage for one final Baker rally.

Bachman and Dolby opened the bottom of the seventh by drawing walks. Averett then loaded the bases with an infield single.

Cline then plated a Baker run when he drew another walk with the bases loaded.

Baker appeared to have scored the tying run with Dillon Blankenship at the plate. Palmer threw a wild pitch, but Brown was able to retrieve the ball in time for Palmer to tag Dolby out at the plate as he attempted to score.

Then, after Blankenship struck out, Palmer intentionally walked Richards to reload the bases. Palmer then struck out Braden Phillips to end the game.

Averett took the loss on the mound despite giving up just six hits.

“I thought Sam threw a great game for us,” said Blankenship.

“Sam and Colten, our only seniors, did a great job of leading us this year.

“Even though we lost this was a great experience for these kids,” Blankenship said. “A lot of people didn’t give these kids credit, but we knocked on the door in the playoffs.”

Baker ended its season 11-14.


Madras       1
   0   2
 — 4

Baker          1
   0   1
   1 — 3

     Palmer and Brown. Averett and Cline. WP — Palmer. LP —Averett.

     Madras hits —Brown 3, A. Fine 2. Madras RBI —A. Fine 4.

     Baker hits —Cline, Younger, Averett 2. Baker RBI —Cline 2.

     2B —Cline.