By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– It was just an off day for the North Salem baseball squad in their Greater Valley Conference opener versus McNary Tuesday afternoon.
A defense that had been so solid entering GVC play committed five errors and 14 hits and it resulted in a 11-2 loss to the Celtics.
For the Vikings, they just need to push pass Tuesday’s miscues and respond even stronger Wednesday against Forest Grove.
“We just have to flush it and comeback tomorrow and play our game,” said Jacob Pfenning. “It was just little minor mistakes, it wasn’t North Salem Baseball.
“We just got to come out and get it tomorrow, that score doesn’t reflect us as a team at all. We’re looking to bounce back.”
For Head Coach Chris Lee, he knows baseball is one of the few sports that have a lot of games to play to help flush out the bad ones.
“The best thing about baseball is a lot of games,” said Lee. “We had four in a row last week but there’s another game the next day. So we get to play tomorrow, we get to comeback and flush this out and move forward.
The errors and hits hit its peaking point during the second inning and had set the pace for the reminder of the game.
Down 1-0 after one inning, errors allowed McNary to convert them into four runs in the top half of the second inning as the Celtic lead grew to 5-0 entering the bottom half of the second inning.
McNary too had their errors in the game that had set North up in favorable hitting positions for runs.
After leaving runners on second and third in the opening frame, Cole Hamilton, who was playing in the Destinated Hitter role Tuesday, batted in the opening run of the game in the third inning for the Vikings.
But North couldn’t capitalize on the errors and opportunities that McNary were handing them offensively.
“We didn’t play well defensively today, (we had) some tough chances,” said Lee. “Sometimes you get the ball hit and go in the right spots and other times you get challenged a little bit more and we didn’t respond to the challenges very well today.”
“We need to change our approach out there at the plate honestly,” said Hamilton. “It’s not very good right now.”
Hamilton had both of the Viks hits as North could only muster one more run off of a wild pitch that brought Hamilton home from third base in the sixth inning to make the score the 11-2 entering the seventh inning.
Lee and his troops agree Wednesday is another day and there’s another game on the docket at Forest Grove with the confidence that they’ll get this game back.
“We’re going to forget about this game after our round table,” said Hamilton. “Win or lose your going to forget about the game because you got another one to play tomorrow so it doesn’t really matter.
“We’re going to come out definitely change our approach coming into the game tomorrow and come get Forest Grove.”
For Lee, his team needs to have a short memory about games like this one to move on to the next one.
“You got to have a short memory,” said Lee. “You have to let it go to move forward. We got our butts handed to us today and we got to respond, we got to get better.”
First pitch between Forest Grove and North Salem is at 5pm at Forest Grove High School.
PHOTO GALLERY (PICTURES BY JEREMY MCDONALD)