With one regular season game remaining on the schedule, the McNary varsity baseball team had not clinched a playoff spot.
But it did know that it controlled its own destiny.
“We have not clinched a playoff spot as of yet,” said assistant coach Chad Booth on Wednesday. “When we beat West Salem tomorrow, that will clinch a playoff spot, either third or fourth.”
Results from the game against the Titans weren’t available at press time.
McNary remained in playoff contention with a 5-3 win over McKay on Tuesday, May 11.
Jake Burgess pulled double duty in picking up both a win and a save. Burgess started the game and went four scoreless innings. He then returned in the seventh to close out the contest.
“Jake started his first league game of the year; he’s had arm problems since early March,” said Booth.
When Burgess re-entered the contest, the Royal Scots had runners on second and third with one out.
“He struck out the next two hitters, thus getting a win and a save in the same game,” said Booth.
In his 29 years, McNary Coach Craig Nicholas said he has never seen anything like this.
Offensively, the Celts were led by Ty Wyatt and his two hits and RBI. Steven Rodriguez added two hits and a run scored.
It was more of the same on Monday, May 10, as the Celts came back to defeat McKay, 6-5.
After trailing most of the game, the Royal Scots knotted it with an unearned run in their half of the seventh.
But then McNary’s Zach Olpet walked, stole second, advanced to third on a throwing error and scored the winning run on a walk-off sacrifice bunt attempt by Steven Rodriguez.
Spencer Rice struggled but still got the win. He allowed four earned runs and struck out five.
It was the junior’s fourth complete game and sixth league win of the season.
Sean Curry went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and a run scored while Burgess added two hits, a walk, a run and a stolen base.
With the wins, McNary (9-8, 12-10 overall) remained in third place in the conference standings. The Celts, however, did not clinch a playoff spot.