By Jeremy McDonald
STAYTON, Ore.– Baseball. It’s the ultimate game of momentum swings.
With momentum against them down 7-1 entering the bottom of the fifth inning, Stayton baseball turned the tables with one inning against Molalla.
On their toes after giving up five runs in the bottom of the fifth, the Indians had to fight to hold off the Eagles in a 7-6 game Saturday afternoon.
“I appreciate that the kids didn’t quit on the game,” said Stayton Head Coach Drew Heard. “I thought they did a fantastic job of staying in the moment and continuing to work hard regardless of what the score was and put ourselves in a position where we had a chance to win it. It just didn’t work out.”
It was proof, said Matt Lindemann, that this young team can compete well any of the team’s remaining on their schedule.
“It looks pretty promising for the season if we can comeback from that much of a deficit against this team which is a better team than any team we’ve seen so far, it looks really promising,” said Lindemann.
“We know now that we can hang with a better team,” he continued. “From here on out we play decent teams so we’re going to go in with the mentality that we have nothing to lose. We’ve played with and hanged with good teams, so we can do it with any other team.”
How the rally began in the bottom of the fifth inning when they had the bases loaded with zero outs on the board.
Molalla allowed a run to come in when Lindemann was hit by a pitch, followed by a sacrifice RBI out by Ryan Brown to get another in as the Indians turned the double play.
Kyle Jorgenson added a RBI single as Chance Widby was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded again bringing in their fourth run in of the inning.
“I felt like we did pretty good, there were a couple of things we could’ve improved on,” said Widby. “We started off ok, but that all it takes to get a rally when we pull everything together.”
After picking up their fifth run before going back on defense, it was freshman Donovan Stanley who gave his offense opportunities in the sixth and seventh innings to make that final push.
“I just went in, did what I was supposed to do,” said Stanley on his contribution. “I just did what I wanted to do. Throw strikes, get them out.”
Stanley had four strikeouts in four innings pitch.
But Stayton couldn’t duplicate their fifth inning success as two controversial calls on steals in the sixth slowed their offense down and saw themselves go down in order to end the game in the seventh.
Heard described that his team’s in an interesting situation. With four day’s off from playing, it gives his team some time to work on a few things before their next game at Cottage Grove on Thursday.
“That’s going to be interesting cause we are fortunate enough to have about four days off from playing the game to where we’re going to be able to work on some of those things that we didn’t do very well on during the game,” he said. “So it’s a matter of executing some of those some errors that are keeping us from getting over the hump.”
Ryan Brown went 3-for-4 for the Eagles Saturday with one RBI. Ben Diehl had two of the five Stayton hits. Lindemann, who starting the day on the mound, had three strikeouts in three innings.
SCORE LINE 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 T H E
INDIANS 0 0 3 1 4 0 0 – 7 9 4
EAGLES 0 0 0 1 5 0 0 – 6 5 4
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