By Jeremy McDonald
WILSONVILLE, Ore.– For the first time in a while, due to weather, the North Salem Baseball team saw live action.
And for the first time this season, they saw that live action from other teams.
Given 18 outs, or three innings, worth of work in the Wilsonville Jamboree, the Vikings faced the Wildcats of Wilsonville along with Canby and McMinnville High Schools Monday afternoon.
In any first couple of outings of the year, you’ll have some rust. That beast is natural as you try to find a groove on the turf fields at Wilsonville High School.
For the North Salem Nine, their defense was stout in the Jamboree; but it was their approach at plate that they need to work on
“We’re a mix of old and young on the team and I didn’t think we came out with much enthusiasm,” said Head Coach Chris Lee. “I didn’t think we took too many positive swings today in the 18 outs that we were given today. We took poor swings on a lot of outs.”
The team, that features nine seniors to four freshmen and two sophomores, know that they’ve got a lot to work on moving forward into the season in terms to their plate approach.
“We clearly have a lot to work on from just this jamboree,” said Cole Hamilton. “We need to change our approach at the plate a lot more and just take better hacks. We have solid ball players; we just need to put together better at-bats.
“It’s all about getting the live reps like we’re used to. Over the summer we play almost every day and we’re used to the reps, it’s just getting back into it really. Getting that rust off, just getting ready to go.”
Hamilton added that this three-team scrimmage knocked off most of the rust that was built up over a week-plus of working inside of a basketball gym and not being out at the field.
Lee also said that the senior leadership his squad bolsters will help build off this momentum going forward to their first game at the end of the week.
“Just to show guys that we got to grind,” said Lee. “It’s early in the season and it’s not the end of the world. We just have to know that it’s not good enough and we have to grind and work at it to get better. Just put in the effort and salt to get better.
“We’ve got to come out with some positive swings. We’ve got to be more aggressive at the plate and we just won’t today.”
For Hamilton, the senior talked about how close the team is, how him and the other seniors on the team are like brothers to the younger guys as they look to improve together as a family.
“(Just) be role models for them,” said Hamilton. “Always portray a positive influence, always bringing them up instead of down and being like a brother to them. We’re all family here. We’re always doing stuff
“We just getting the most out of the reps we could today and we’ll be ready to go.”
PHOTO GALLERY (PICTURES BY JEREMY MCDONALD)
Jeremy McDonald is a professional sports journalist in the Salem/Portland area and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalist in Oregon with B.S. degrees from Southern Oregon University in Journalism (2011) and Health/PE (2013). Got a story idea? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @J_McDonald81