The Gladiators battle and win barnburners from La Salle and Molalla
Last week was a decent week for Gladstone High School's baseball team.
The Gladiators won a couple of barnburners, knocking off third-ranked La Salle 5-4 in 11 innings on April 28, and rallying from behind to drop Molalla 6-5 on Friday. The Gladiators also played La Salle on April 30 and struggled to get the ball on the bat in a 6-0 loss.
The April 28 win at La Salle was a hard fought battle all the way. Gladstone put three runs on the scoreboard in the first inning, but La Salle fought back to go up 4-3 with two runs in the bottom of the fifth.
The Gladiators kept the game alive, scoring a single tally in the top of the seventh, on base hits by Logan Saltares and Mitchell Foeller, a sacrifice bunt by Andrew Gross and a run-scoring groundout by Trask Telesmanich.
The two teams then went scoreless until the top of the 11th, when senior infielder Chris Toh earned hero honors, plating the game-winner with a base hit up the middle.
Branden Loehr led off the 11th with a single, advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Gross and a base hit by Foeller, and scored with two down, on Toh's timely single.
La Salle nearly got the run back in the bottom of the 11th. Austin Vaughn reached as a hit batsman and Kelly Krumm singled. But Collin Betnar then flagged down a high fly ball in left field and Toh, playing second, made the play on a ground ball to end the game.
The two teams had no fewer than 27 hits between them. Toh (3-for-6), Telesmanich (2-for-4), Foeller (2-for-6) and Austin Krieger (2-for-5) led the Gladiators in a 14-hit attack.
Sam Wade (3-for-5), Krumm (3-for-5), Dane Maben (2-for-5) and Connor Shride (2-run double in the fifth) led the hit parade for La Salle.
I was happy with the way we battled back, said Gladstone coach Casey Webster. Trask Telesmanich and A.J. Swalko both pitched great, and everyone battled. I was pleased with our effort.
Telesmanich pitched the first six frames, yielding 10 hits and four runs (three earned), while striking out four and walking two. Swalko (4 strikeouts, one walk, 3 hits) pitched shutout ball in five innings of relief.
The Gladiators reached Vaughn (3 strikeouts, 2 walks) for only three hits in last week's 6-0 loss to the Falcons at Gladstone.
Nursing a 1-0 lead, the Falcons put the game away in the fifth frame, when they scored five runs on six hits and one Gladiator error.
Cody Swenson and Betnar earned hero honors in Friday's 6-5 win over Molalla.
Swenson stepped to the plate with Gladstone trailing 5-3 in the bottom of the seventh and drove the ball to left field, plating two Gladstone baserunners and knotting the score at 5-5.
Following a sacrifice bunt by Mitchell Foeller, Betnar hit a shot over the head of Molalla's center fielder, driving in the winning run.
Telesmanich pitched really well, and we got timely hits, with a lot of guys contributing, said Webster.
Telesmanich pitched a complete game, striking out eight and walking two, while allowing nine hits and just two earned runs.
Telesmanich also had a hot bat, going 4-for-4 and driving in a run in the first inning.
Betnar and Toh both went 2-for-4 at the plate. Austin Krieger had a run-scoring base hit in a three-run first inning.
Gladstone (12-7, 5-4) finished last week tied with Estacada (9-10, 5-4) in third place in the Tri-Valley Conference.
The Gladiators play the Rangers on the road in a key match-up this afternoon; they travel to Madras (4-15, 0-9) on Friday.