By Jeremy McDonald
PORTLAND, Ore. – – At one point in game two versus Cleveland, the Santiam Senators were down 6-1 entering the third inning following an excellent game one victory.
But instead of hanging their heads and call it a game, the Senators rallied.
Though some minor hiccups defensively, Santiam, led by South Salem’s Noah Ferguson, held the Warriors to one run to give their offense a chance behind five Ferguson strikeouts.
“We needed to settle down, all we needed to do really was throw strikes, get simple ground ball outs,” said Ferguson. “Strikeouts aren’t really going win you anything cause it drives up your pitch count.
“So just getting those simple ground balls and let your defense do the work, it makes everything so much quicker and slows everyone down.”
Slowly, the offense found their groove, and by the sixth inning and down 7-3, the Senators exploded.
Behind five hits, four walks and one Hit By Pitch, Santiam turned a four-run deficit into a four-run lead with a eight-run sixth inning.
“It reminds us of being a team when we’re down,” said Salem Academy’s Greyson Hanowell. “Coming back and fighting together is a big part of the game and not dwelling on our mistakes and focusing on the future and what happens in the game.”
Hanowell had a RBI single that started the rally for Santiam.
Stayton’s Ryan Brown, who pitched three innings and had five strikeouts in the first game and contributed to the hot inning, said that he likes how his team didn’t hang their heads when they were down.
“For being with these guys for five days now, we’ve really gelled as a team already,” said Brown. “So it feels great to come out here and get a win in the first two and not taking it with attitudes or anything, we’ve played as a team or dropped our heads. We did good.”
Some of the members of the Senators play for 3A and 4A teams like Salem Academy and Stayton, so competing against a team like Cleveland with 6A players is a confidence booster moving forward said Hanowell.
“It shows that it’s important to strive for wanting to be the best and even though you might come from a small area and that little guys can get it done,” said Hanowell.
Up next for Santiam is West Linn at Stayton High School, first pitch at 5pm.
Follow Jeremy McDonald at Twitter at @J_McDonald81, or like jmcdonaldmedia on Facebook!
PHOTO GALLERY (PICTURE BY JEREMY MCDONALD)