The Mustangs played Pendleton on Friday to secure a spot in the first round of the 5A State Playoffs. The Mustangs started off a little slow, but got their offense and defense working against the Buckaroos.
The Buckaroos were first to plate a run in the first inning when they took advantage of a lead-off walk, sacrifice bunt and a singe before Senior pitcher, Brad McVay, rung up the final two batters of the first inning.
In the 2nd inning, Sophomore third baseman, Kaden Middleton, walked and then reached third on a double by senior catcher, Noah Miller. Junior second baseman, Nathaniel McGowan reached first on catcher’s interference to load the bases. Then senior outfielder, Cole Roberts hit a double off the center field fence plating Middleton and Miller. The inning would end on a strikeout, but the Mustangs took a 2-1 lead.
Neither team had much luck at the plate until the 4th inning when the Buckaroos walked and hit 2 singles to plate a run tying up the game 2-2. The inning ended when senior first baseman, Riley Howard ran down a foul ball in right field to get the final out of the inning.
In the top of the 5th inning, junior shortstop, Keith Doherty had a lead-off walk. Senior outfielder, Theo Dover, singled on a hard ground ball to right field, getting Doherty to third base. McVay drew a walk and Howard singled off the center field wall to drive in Doherty and load the bases. Junior designated hitter, Tyson Kelly, hit into a fielder’s choice that scored Dover and McVay scored on a throwing error. The inning ended on a strikeout, but the Mustangs gained a 2-run lead.
The Mustangs kept their offense going in the 6th inning on 2 outs. Doherty singled to center field, Roberts singled to right field and Dover hit a double allowing Doherty to score and Roberts to advance to third base. McVay reached first on a Buckaroo error that plated Roberts and Dover. Howard hit a 2-run home run over the center field fence for his 3rd home run of the season. The Mustangs ended the inning 9-2.
McVay was a workhorse on the mound for the Mustangs getting the win. He pitched 6 innings and had 13 strikeouts, 2 walks, 4 hits and 2 runs. He pitched a great game making it very difficult for the Buckaroos.
Howard came in to close the game in the 7th inning and got the save. He gave up 2 walks, had a strikeout and then the Buckaroos scored 1 run when Howard was hit in the back by a line drive on the mound. The ball bounced off Howard to 2nd base and a throwing error allowed Pendleton to add 1 more run. The inning ended on a double play by McVay, who fielded a line drive at first base, and then stepped on the bag to get the runner and the final out of the game. The final score Milwaukie 9, Pendleton 4.
Offensive leaders for the Mustangs were Cole, Dover and Howard who each had multiple hits and RBI’s.
The Mustangs earned a trip to Churchill, the #1 seed in 5A, in the first round of the State Playoffs on Wednesday, May 24.