Crimson Tide escape with a 2-1 victory behind a strong outing from Joey Haynes

Bats not going much? Facing a city rival? Going down a run in the latter stages of what had been a scoreless ballgame?

All of that turned out to be unproblematic for the Glencoe baseball team, which got some clutch plays from Joey Haynes and Grant Ramey to pull off a 2-1 comeback victory at home against city rival Hillsboro on HILLSBORO TRIBUNE PHOTO: AMANDA MILES - Glencoe senior Joey Haynes delivers a pitch during the Crimson Tide's 2-1 win over Hilhi in Pacific Conference baseball action on Tuesday.

“It’s definitely big,” said Haynes, the winning pitcher. “It’s a rival team and we’re matched up pretty good. It’s good to start it off right. It will help us out.”

The victory, in the opener of a three-game series between the two teams this week, was Glencoe’s third in a row, helping the Crimson Tide forge a tie for third place with Tigard in the Pacific Conference standings and move into prime position for an automatic Class 6A state playoff berth.

Glencoe improved to 10-12 overall and 7-6 in league play.

The Spartans, meanwhile, dropped their third straight game despite getting a three-hitter from Jacob Staub and fell to 8-12 overall and 5-8 in the Pacific (tie for fifth) with four games remaining.

Neither team got much of anything going until the fifth inning, when Hilhi struck first on what Haynes called “a little hiccup.”

After Dylan Frederick led off the inning with a bunt, Ryan Denfeld moved him over a base with a sacrifice bunt.

Then, during Isaac Mitzel’s plate appearance, Haynes tried for a pickoff at second base, but the throw was high and drifted into center field. Andre Becton’s ensuing throw went out of play past the third base line, allowing Frederick to walk in for the run and the lead.

Glencoe had the answer, though. In fact, it had two of them, even though Ramey was still scratching his head on exactly how his team had pulled out the win afterward.

“It was really difficult. We couldn’t get many base runners,” he noted. “It was pretty difficult, but we did what we did. I don’t know.”

Ramey did have plenty of say in the actual matter, though, plating the game-tying run in the bottom half of the fifth on a single to center field. That scored Kyle Campbell, who had led off the inning with a single to center.

Though Becton drew a walk in the next at-bat to load the bases, Glencoe had to wait until the sixth inning for the game-winner.

Haynes helped out big-time with that one. With one out, he ripped a pitch to left field and slid in for a double before being replaced by pinch runner Jacob Vice. Ramey followed three batters later, and with the bases loaded, he hit into a fielder’s choice that the Spartans opted for at first base. Vice had no trouble scoring from third, providing Ramey with his team’s only RBIs of the afternoon.

Those were the only two they needed, as Haynes retired Hillsboro in order in the seventh. He went the distance for the win, giving up four hits, striking out two and not allowing a walk in seven innings.

“Our defense enjoys playing behind Joey just because he works fast and he throws a ton of strikes,” Glencoe coach Tim Stewart said. “When he’s on, he gets a lot of outs, a lot of contact outs without strikeouts, so it keeps the defense moving and keeps everybody active and engaged.”

Staub was an equally tough opponent, allowing only three hits to go along with four strikeouts and three walks in a hard-luck loss.

Results of the teams’ Wednesday contest at Hare Field were not available at press deadline. The final game of the series starts at 4:30 p.m. this afternoon at Glencoe. The Spartans will round out the regular season with games against Century next Tuesday and Wednesday, while the Tide will face Forest Grove those same days.

“It’s an exciting part of the season,” Stewart said. “Every game matters a whole lot. We try to stress to our kids not to think about scenarios but think about the game at hand.”

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