McNary’s Kaleb Simpson dives for first base and beats a pick-off attempt by the Cardinals. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

The McNary High School varsity baseball team pulled off two close wins last week over McMinnville and Lincoln High School.

The Celts faced McMinnville on March 19 and won 3-2. The team rode to the win on the arm of pitcher Jon Stong who put in a complete game effort on the mound striking out six batters.

McNary was first on the scoreboard with a run in the first inning and McMinnville tied it up in the second 1-1. A two-run sixth inning put the Celtics over the top..

The Keizer team had a stronger start in 8-7 win over Lincoln High School Friday, March 23. A double by Chris Burger helped the team leap out to a 3-0 start in the first inning.

The Cardinals came from behind in the third inning to take the lead 4-3, but a three-run fourth inning and a two-run sixth gave McNary the win.

Stong went two for three at the plate while Travis Marks had three RBIs in addition to handling pitching duties in the first three innings. Ben Johnson, Conor Suing, Garren Robinett, Justin Schneider and Kaleb Simpson also shared duties on the mound. Suing was credited with the win.

The wins put the Celtics at 2-1 for the preseason with Central Valley Conference play starting Friday, April 6.