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MHC BASEBALL: The Gophers see a bases-loaded threat come up empty in the seventh

PMG PHOTO: DAVID BALL - Greshams Jayden Sare sprints for first base in the bottom of the seventh inning in the Gophers 1-0 loss to Central Catholic on Tuesday.

Mount Hood Conference

Team Score
Central Catholic Rams
Gresham Gophers

Gresham's baseball team took Central Catholic to the final swing of the bat before coming up short 1-0 in Tuesday's Mount Hood Conference opener.

The hunt was on in the bottom of the seventh inning when Jack Nehler beat out an infield single and Tyler Budge drew a walk to push the tying run into scoring position.

Central Catholic starter Dylan MacLean struck out the next batter. Teammate Tyson Gradwahl was nearing the same fate before fouling off a third strike and drawing a full-count walk on the next pitch to load the bases.

Jayden Sare was next into the batter's box and sent a first-pitch ground ball to the left side that put everyone in motion. Central Catholic shortstop Thomas Ferroggiaro gobbled up the ball to finish the game.

"We're a pretty scrappy team, and we have guys up and down the lineup who can put the ball in play," Gresham coach Matt Smallwood said. "It ended up a 1-0 finish against perhaps the best team in our league. We are not satisfied, but I feel good about where we are going."

PMG PHOTO: DAVID BALL - Greshams Tyler Budge fouls on a pitch on his way to drawing a walk that put the tying run into scoring position in the seventh inning.

The Rams scored the game's only run when Ferroggiaro sent a two-out single to right field.

Central stranded runners at second base in each of the first four innings.

"A tight game like this tends to keep guys on their toes," Smallwood said.

Gresham tried to answer in the bottom of the fifth when Nehler drew a lead-off walk and Gradwahl hit a two-out single. But MacLean came up big with a three-pitch strikeout to end the threat.

MacLean finished with 13 strikeouts.

"We knew he was going to throw strikes all game long," Smallwood said. "We started out passive at the plate, and we really needed to get in there and swing at more pitches."

Gresham starter Hunter Snow struck out six, while reliever Reece McKenzie didn't allow a hit over the final two innings.

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This story is slated for our Friday, April 5, print edition.

— - MHC Baseball & Softball

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