By Jeremy McDonald
STAYTON, Ore.– Monday’s Oregon West Conference was a hard fought battle between two opponents on opposite sides of the standings.
Philomath found themselves tied with Cascade at 6-3 in OWC play and Stayton was sitting in last place at 2-7.
But you wouldn’t see that in Monday’s contest as the Eagles pushed the Warriors to the limit and then some.
“It says a lot,” said Kyle Jorgenson. it shows that we’re here to play and we’re not going to come over and get pushed around
It took ten innings. Ten innings between two teams who most wouldn’t expect to see go this distance.
“It’s good to see how far we come so far and now we know we can hang with some really good teams like that,” said Matt Lindemann. “We just need to take that intense-ness we have to all the other teams.”
At the end, though Philomath won 2-1, optimism is high for the upcoming Stayton team.
“As a senior you kind of want to change the program when you leave for the better,” said Lindemann. “It looks like it’s going to be a good program in the years to come and it feels good that you were part of helping that change.”
“That we can compete,” said Freshman Ryan Brown. “We’ve had bad games, this is a really, really good game for our confidence. Philomath’s ranked up there, I mean they’re a really good team and we played solid defense and stuck with them. Kyle threw a hella’ve game.”
Jorgenson, who’s came into his own through this season, carried his dominance his performance from last week’s stunning 4-0 Cascade victory in a complete game effort into Monday’s contest against the 13th-ranked team in 4A.
“You just got to come out and just throw your heart out and just go out there like you own the place,” he said. “It’s your field, throw a lot of strikes and trust your defense.”
Jorgenson pitched seven incredible innings and allowed just one run in the sixth that was matched by his offense in the bottom half of the inning before Ben Diehl came in relieve during the eighth inning.
His defense made outs and one incredible pick-off move that involved catcher Chance Widley and shortstop Brown at second base ended the top half of the seventh inning.
“We’ve been putting in work,” said Brown. “It’s going to come together eventually, it just came together a little late this season. I think we’re started to really gel together as a team.”
Diehl kept the Philomath offense in check, and even though it was a sacrifice fly in the 10th inning that decided the game, Jorgenson knows his team has some room for growth.
“I think our bats, we didn’t bring them today, everything else we did great,” said Jorgenson. “Fielding, just throws everything is good, just our hitting wasn’t there. We played a good team so they’re pretty good but we need to work on hitting.”
For Brown, he knows that Monday’s performance, forcing one of the best team’s in the OWC and in the state of Oregon to the brink of an upset, is how his team needs to play to finish the season strong.
“We just got to play like we did tonight and we’ll beat most teams,” said Brown.
“We’ve got nothing to lose, and we know we can hang with them know” adds Lindemann. “So we just need to go into it with that mindset of ‘We Have Nothing To Lose.”
The Eagles enter the home-stretch of the season with a home game Wednesday versus Newport at 4:30pm before traveling north to play Yamhill-Carlton in Yamhill Friday afternoon as Stayton looks to play the spoiler to both team’s seasons.
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PHOTO GALLERY (PICTURES BY JEREMY MCDONALD)