By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.— From prepping from their game versus Clackamas coming up here in a few days to the appearance of the Man nickname “Cheeseburger”, the North Salem Baseball Vikings are sticking to their guns at Friday’s practice with a few more days until the first-round match-up with Clackamas.
“We’re just coming out practicing hard as we’ve have been, not changing anything, we’re just fine tuning, we have two more days for Clackamas,” said Noah Boatwright. “We’re practicing hard, we should be good.”
Good is just an understatement for North Salem. The Vikings have won 10 of their last 12 games and winners of their last six that included the play-in game and a huge win over a very tough Grant team during this past week.
Those two games, said Boatwright, keeps them active for the 6A OSAA Opener versus the Cavaliers.
“Those were important because it kept us playing so last week we kept our mojo,” he said. “Our momentum going and I think that served us well for Monday. Just keep on rolling on the momentum train.”
How there doing that is just fine tuning their fundamentals against a Clackamas team that is also a fundamentally sound team.
In 2015, the Cavs were the number one team in the bracket and made it to the semi-final game before losing to eventual State Champs in Sheldon.
In 2016, Clackamas went 18-9 overall and 12-5 in the Mt. Hood Conference and finished in a tie for first-place Gresham in league play.
“They’re a really fundamental, regimental baseball team, they’re a very well coached team and they do the small things really well,” said Head Coach Chris Lee. “That’s the really basic run down on them.
“We’re just trying to take care of some of the small detail defensively and working on fundamentals,”
Through this intense time with playoffs coming up though, its always good to have some friendly competition, especially between Andrew Nunez and Dalton Garza, who’s friendly competition during bunt practice spark the argument of who will buy the other lunch.
“It’s good to stay relax and have fun while we’re working on the thing we need to work on,” said Nunez. “So it’s always good, it’s fun. It’s not to say to tense or stressful for our next game, so we like to have a little fun entering competition so we we’re ourselves throughout the week, it’s just another game for us so we’re relaxed and our normal practices.”
As too who won, Nunez admits with a smile that it ended as a draw.
“I’ll call it a draw,” he said with a laugh. “I beat him the first time, he got me the second time and then we went around another two and he got one again and I got one too so I call it a draw.”
It’s all fun and games with preparation coming to a close for the playoffs. Monday’s first-round pitch is 5pm at Clackamas High School.