Gladstone rallies from a 3-0 deficit to beat Estacada and split their opening series in Tri-Valley play
Gladstones baseball team came through in crunch time Wednesday night to score its first win of the Tri-Valley Conference season 6-5 over visiting Estacada.
Tied 5-5 heading into the seventh inning, the Gladiators escaped a bases-loaded scare when relief pitcher A.J. Swalko struck out Estacadas last batter looking at a fastball down the center of the strike zone.
Gladstone finished off the game when Austin Krieger sent a lead-off single through the middle of the infield. Two batters later Mitchell Foeller hit a single that pin balled off a pair of infielders.
Estacada reliever Casey Jones struck out the next batter, setting up a showdown with Gladstones Cody Swenson.
Get the out and the game continues into extra innings, give up a hit and it would be time to board the bus.
Swenson sent the Rangers home with a sharp hopper the slipped between the first basemans legs and rolled into the grass. Krieger came across the plate unchallenged.
Gladstone (8-4) takes on Madras in a two-game series this week, finishing with a home game against the White Buffaloes at 5 p.m. Thursday.
Estacada got off to a fast start Wednesday, putting up three runs in the first inning highlighted by Brandon Becks two-run homer over the left-field fence. Kordell McPherson connected on an RBI-double later in the inning.
Gladstone answered when Logan Saltares blasted a lead-off double over the center fielders head, and teammate Trey DePretto sent another double into the left-field corner.
But the Gladiators wouldnt pull even until the sixth inning when Ben Fox connected for a lead-off single into left field. Swalko followed him into the batters box and reached up near helmet-level to put a bunt in play. The ball died along the third-base line about 10 feet in front of the plate. Estacada made the play at first, but Fox never slowed down on the base paths and slid safely into third, taking two bases instead of the customary one.
The next batter Andrew Gross hit a grounder to the shortstop, who bobbled the ball, leaving him no chance to make a throw home. Fox scored the tying run standing up.
The Gladiators called on three pitchers during the game, highlighted by Swenson in relief. He struck out five of the 10 batters he faced.
View a photo gallery from the game at