METRO LEAGUE BASEBALL: Tide Continues To Roll

It’s no fluke. The Glencoe Crimson Tide are all alone in first place in the Metro League baseball standings after their fifth consecutive league win.

Glencoe defeated Beaverton 4-2 Tuesday night at Ron Tonkin Field in the first game of a two-game series. It was only the Beavers’ third loss of the year, but all have come against Metro League teams. Meanwhile the Tide improved to 5-0 in Metro League play, a game ahead of second-place Westview, which defeated Sunset 3-2 in eight innings Tuesday.

Glencoe (9-5 overall) capitalized on an error to score all four of its runs in the third inning, while making key plays on defense to nullify Beaverton’s scoring threats. The Beavers (4-3, 11-3) stranded nine runners on base, six in scoring position, grounding into inning-ending double plays after loading the bases in each of the final two innings.

Matt Elder went six innings on the mound for the win, departing with a 4-1 lead as Karl McFadden came on to close out the seventh. Beaverton loaded the bases with three straight singles in the sixth inning, but Wyatt Christopherson bounced into a 4-6-3 twin killing. In the seventh, the Beavers loaded the bases with none out. Ryan Hekker drew a seven-pitch walk, Jake Bunn beat out an infield hit after a dribbler up the third base line and Kevin Watson, Jr. grounded to second base, beating a low throw to first after Bunn hustled into second safely. With the sacks jammed with the tying runs, cleanup hitter Trace Hokkanen fouled off three two-strike pitches before sending a hard ground ball toward short, where Cole Hoskins made a backhand stop and threw to second just in time to get the force on Watson as Hekker scored. With a 2-2 count, Joe Hollawell grounded into a game-ending 4-6-3 double play.

Beaverton grabbed a 1-0 lead in the third inning after Wyatt Christopherson led off with a triple and scored  on Ryan Hekker’s sacrifice fly to right.

A throwing error put Glencoe’s Kevin Vanoudenhaegen on base to open the bottom of the third inning. McFadden dropped a bunt back toward the mound, but Beaverton pitcher Callan McRae’s throw pulled Hokkanen off the bag at first. Gus Collins followed with another bunt to push the runners to second and third. Vanoudenhaegen scored on Hoskins’ RBI ground out to third. With two outs, Nathan Sprenger, Jarrett Pinster and Bryce Fornshell strung together three straight RBI hits to give Glencoe a 4-1 lead.

Beaverton outhit Glencoe 10-7 and did not have a single batter strike out. But Glencoe pitchers walked just two batters and the Tide committed only one error that did not impact the scoring. Elder retired the first batter in five of his six innings. He got Hokkanen to fly out to right with runners at second and third to end the fifth inning before working out of the bases loaded, two-out jam in the sixth.

Beaverton pitcher Callan McRae suffered his first loss of the season after four wins and two saves. McRae came into the contest with a 0.56 earned run average and did not allow an earned run over his six innings, striking out two with one walk. Watson, Jr. had three hits, including a pair of doubles.

Sprenger and Pinster each had a run scored and a run batted in for Glencoe. Fornshell had two hits for the Tide.

In other Metro League baseball action, Jesuit defeated Century 4-3. The Crusaders, Beavers and Apollos are all tied for third place at 4-3, one game behind second place Westview. Metro League games scheduled for Wednesday include Glencoe at Beaverton and Westview at Sunset, both scheduled for 5 p.m. Century will host Jesuit at Ron Tonkin field at 4 p.m.