By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– The North Salem Baseball team finished the Greater Valley Conference with a streak they wanted and needed to make a run for the 6A OSAA playoff bracket this season.
With their 6-0 win over rival McKay High School Friday, the Vikings ended the 2016 GVC with a 9-7 record and winners of their last seven of nine league contest.
How can North explain this run? Here’s how:
“We came out of league hot, I mean we struggled first half but finished strong second half,” said Cole Hamilton. “So that’s always good to finish like that. We can play how we normally could play, we were worried about the NS on our chest, that’s pretty much all we can do, that’s all we need to do.
“It doesn’t matter who’s in the other dugout, we play how we can play everyday.”
Hamilton had two hits in the game versus the Royal Scots.
Noah Boatwright knows that his team is peaking at the right time as they host Grant Monday in a tune up game for playoffs and Senior Night at Schaefer Stadium.
“If we can take out our dugout and take part of our part and we can play fundamental North salem baseball I believe that I’ll take our team,” said Boatwright. “We’re on a hot streak, if we take care of ourselves, pitch well, do what we can do with the bats then it’ll be alright come playoffs.”
Though Lee enjoyed how his team answered the adversity and matured as they entered the second half of league with a 3-5 record, he’s also happy to honor the seniors like Hamilton and Boatwright for all they have done to this point of their careers in the black, white and red.
“Monday’s night is going to be our senior night, we’re going to play our seniors and have our seniors enjoy the moment and celebrate their time in our program,” said Lee. “Some of them for four years, some of them three.
“But we have a lot of people put in a lot of hard work and a lot of hours, so we’re going to celebrate and thank them for that, then we’re going to come back and see what the rest of the week. We don’t know if we have a play-in game or if we get a At-Large berth so we’ll see what happens after that.”
These boys aren’t done yet however. They’ll learn their playoff fates Saturday when the brackets are released.
But when they are, they’ll be ready.
“We just have to keep up with all the enthusiasm,” said Boatwright. “When we come to the park, everyone wants to be here. Everyone’s having fun, we just love to play baseball. I think that’s what started our hot streak, enthusiasm and the love of the game. So that’s all we got to do..”
Monday’s game versus Grant is slated for 5pm and the OSAA will be releasing the bracket by early Saturday evening for teams to see.
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PHOTOS FROM MCKAY GAME (PICTURES BY JEREMY MCDONALD)