Ryan Johnson did not mind the 45-degree day or occasional gust of wind.
Mountain View’s baseball coach was just happy to be outside.
After practicing on their baseball field for the first time just two days earlier, the Class 6A Cougars defeated 4A Madras 7-2 Friday afternoon in their 2019 home opener.
“It’s been a long winter,” Johnson said. “I think everyone is getting a little claustrophobic so we’re excited to be out, whether it’s cold and windy, it doesn’t matter. We’re just happy to be out here.”
Mountain View scored three runs in the bottom of the first inning, taking advantage of three walks and an infield error.
Senior Luke Klein, a transfer from Horizon Christian in Hood River, singled to lead off the inning and then scored on a bases-loaded walk. Klein put the Cougars up 4-0 in the second inning, doubling and then scoring on a sacrifice fly by Ryan Martini.
Klein also led Mountain View from the mound, allowing just one hit and one unearned run while striking out seven Madras hitters over 41⁄3 innings.
“Fastball was going well. Coach had me throwing change-up and I got a bunch of guys on that one,” Klein said. “I was just throwing the ball and letting them hit it.”
The White Buffaloes did not get their first hit of the game until Kody Zemke singled to center field to lead off the fourth inning.
“He’s a kid that’s just going to come out and throw strikes and compete,” Johnson said of Klein. “That’s what we need out of him is that leadership and throwing strikes.”
Mountain View expanded its lead to 5-0 in the bottom of the fourth when B.B. Logan doubled to lead off the inning and then scored on a double by Owen Aylward.
Carson King got Madras on the scoreboard in the top of the fifth. After getting hit by a pitch to start the inning, King scored on a bunt by Carter Dunten, which Klein fielded but threw over the first baseman’s head for an error.
Mountain View sophomore Tanner Wild pitched in relief to get the final two outs of the fifth and then retire the White Buffaloes in the sixth. David Lemke got the final three outs to finish off Madras.
Liam White delivered an RBI double, scoring Trent Mitchell, in the top of the seventh.
Madras freshman Reece White took the mound in the second inning and kept the White Buffaloes in the game.
He allowed three runs over four innings.
“Pitching is extremely complex but at the same time extremely simple,” Madras coach Sam McCormick said. “If you get on the bump, you have good pace and throw strikes, the game is probably going to go your way. That’s what he did.”
The White Buffaloes graduated seven seniors last spring and have just one senior and three juniors on this year’s squad.
Like Mountain View, Madras did not practice on its field until this week because of snow still lingering after last month’s late-winter blast.
“We just haven’t seen that much live pitching yet so our hitters are still having to make those adjustments,” McCormick said. “It’s a process. It’s strike-zone awareness, what pitches can we handle in what counts and when do we attack them.”
The Cougars, who have eight seniors, including four-year starters Martini and Shandon Malikowski, are back home Wednesday for a doubleheader against Forest Grove.
Madras hosts a spring break tournament Thursday through Saturday.
— Reporter: 541-383-0307, email@example.com