By Jeremy McDonald
STAYTON, Ore.– As long as we beat Cascade.
The motto for Stayton in this rebuilding year, and sure did follow that in Wednesday’s epic 4-3 Senior Day win over their rival to take two games over the Cougars one.
The win itself, a walk-off, two-out and bases loaded wild pitch that sent Dylan Cudd home with Matt Lindemann at the plate.
“I wanted to get the score in, that was about it,” described Cudd as he jumped on the opportunity that the Baseball Gods handed his team. “I saw the ball and I just ran.”
For Lindemann, as he jumped out of Cudd’s way when the ball escaped the glove of the Cougars catcher.
“It was amazing, it took a lot of pressure off of me,” said Lindemann with a laugh and a smile. “It took a lot of pressure off of me. That jump he got was great, we practice it in practice the whole time. A freshman doing that, it was amazing.”
The win, was the pinnacle of a tough season, but the win shows what this ever-gaining confidence that Stayton is getting with every game.
“It was exciting,” said Head Coach Drew Heard. “I was just very proud of how the way the team fought throughout the game. I felt like it really matter to them.
“They showed it throughout the game, they did a great job and they deserve the win. It was a fantastic job and they earned what they got.”
Leading up to the wild pitch for the win, the Eagles jumped out to a 3-1 lead after the first inning.
“A lot of it I think was the seniors,” said Ryan Brown. “It’s one of their last two games and they really got us really, really fired up. So a lot of that came from that and we started to get our bats going, Kyle Jorgenson again pitched a good game so it felt great.”
It sounded like a broken record, but Jorgenson proved his dominance as he had late in this season with a complete game performance as he set the pace for his defense.
Stayton had opportunities to add their lead thanks to their bats that Brown mentioned, but we’re met by the arm of Daniel Stevens as Cascade showed why they’re competing with Philomath for the Oregon West Conference title as their bats tied the game up at three in the sixth inning.
But the Eagles were ready.
“We came out with our heads held up ready to play, ready to work hard,” said Jorgenson. “(We had) minimal errors.”
Entering the bottom of the seventh, Cudd got on first and used a wild ball to get to third with Brown at the plate.
Then, Brown and Jorgenson were intentionally walked as Lindemann came to the plate.
“I don’t why they did that, because we got three-four good hitters in a row so it didn’t make sense,” said Jorgenson. “It was pretty cool, I would like to hit the winning run (though).”
A few pitches later, Cudd’s Play came to be as the seniors will leave Stayton with a ‘W’ under their belts.
“This is great, this is going to be a memory I’m going to remember for the rest of my life,” said Lindemann. “I don’t how else to describe this, It’s an amazing feeling.”
As they celebrated, the motto reappeared, “As long as we beat Cascade”. Even, “Hey, we beat Cascade” floated around as well for the Eagles.
It was truly a game for the ages.
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PHOTO GALLERY (PICTURES BY JEREMY MCDONALD)