Centennial stuns Gophers in the seventh
Tuesday, April 16
Centennial's baseball team put on a furious finish to surprise Gresham with an 8-7 comeback win Tuesday.
Down four runs heading into their last at-bats, the Eagles needed to make something happen fast. Tommy Hemmer delivered with a two-run single through the middle to cut the deficit in half.
"We put up four runs in the last inning last week against Barlow to get to extra innings, so we knew we could do it," Hemmer said.
A walk and a hit batter loaded the bases, as the pressure amped up on the Gophers' defense. Andrew Caron beat out an infield single to the left side, setting the stage for teammate Landan Fery to clobber a fly ball to into the right-field gap for a walk-off double that scored Kyle Fitzgerald and Cameron Nolander.
"At first I thought it was just going to be a pop fly, but I guess it ended up going over his head," Fery said. "I haven't had a walk off since last year — it feels pretty good."
The outcome looked bleak when Gresham's Reece McKenzie sent a two-run single into left field to put the Gophers' up 7-0 in the sixth inning.
But a Centennial side that had two hits up to that point, awoke in the bottom of the sixth with Dillon Hart and Hemmer drawing back-to-back walks to lead off the inning. Nolander banged a double to center field to put the Eagles onto the scoreboard, and Caron followed with a two-run single to get the ball rolling on Centennial's comeback.
"Coming back to tie Barlow, then losing in extra innings was a punch to the gut for us Friday, and we played like that early today," Centennial coach Eric Fogle said. "(Christian) Figueroa did a tremendous job keeping us guessing, but the last few innings everyone went up there with a game plan. Guys changed their approach and hit balls hard."
The game marked Gresham's fifth one-run loss since league play began three weeks ago.
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This story is slated for our Friday, April 19, print edition.