Santiam Played Best Ball Of 2016…To This Point!

By Jeremy McDonald

STAYTON, Ore.–  Their losing ways didn’t last long.  Matter of fact, it was a distant memory after today.

Like last Saturday, this Saturday the Santiam Senators swept the competition in Roosevelt, 9-3 and 9-1 to win their fourth and fifth games of the season and outpacing what they won last year in the Single-A level.

“It’s just forgetting about what happen in the past and know that, together you’re a great team,” said Greyson Hanowell.  “That, if we make mistakes, then that’s tough and we just got to move on because we can do better and it was great to come out and prove ourselves.”

Both games had their fair share of elements from even before Game One as the rain delayed the start of the doubleheader by roughly 15 minutes.  The trick was to stay warm said Caleb Clevenger.

“Start of the first game it was really windy and rainy we had to keep our arms warm,” said Clevenger.   “(We) had to stay warm the whole game.”

Brandon Gieselman (Center) pitched a two-hitter and struck out four in 6.1 innings Saturday’s  Game 1 of 2 vs Roosevelt (Picture By Jeremy McDonald)

The offense was clicking, Game one Ryan Brown was 3-4 for three RBIs and was a homerun away from the cycle, Kyle McAlister had two RBIs as well in the opener.

On defense, Brandon Gieselman tallied four strikeouts and allowed two hits in six-and-a-third innings of work defensively.

The rain subsided, but the wind did not.  But it did not slow the pace of the Senators.

A Wild Pitch for a score and a Hunter BeDoya two-run double increased their lead to 4-1 and eventually that lead increased to 6-1 after three.

That’s when it came down to the Senator defense to come through in the clutch as they’re offense cooled off a bit during the stretch as Clevenger commanded his defense.

In a complete game effort, Clevenger had seven strikeouts and forced Roosevelt’s offense to ground outs while him and his defense allowed five hits total in game two.

“I thought it was great because the pitchers put the ball into play,” said Clevenger.  “They didn’t put too many free passes and the defense backing us up was perfect.”

Gieselman (Top Right) and Hanowell (Bottom Left) running the bases in Game 2 of Saturday’s double header (Picture By Jeremy McDonald)

But, the cool off of the Santiam bats and offense was temporary.

In the sixth inning, and runners on base, Brayden Neuharth broke the scoring open with a RBI double that was followed by a two run RBI single by third baseman Donovan Stanley.

In total, as the Senators (5-1. 3-0) tallied 21 hits and 18 runs in the two victories on offense.  Defensively, Clevenger and Gieselman combined for 11 strikeouts while their defense only allowed seven hits as a unit.

For Coach Ron Caligure, he’s happy with how the offense is hitting the baseball, the pitchers throwing strikes and finishing games, the defense behind the pitchers has been great he said.

“I’m really happy with how the kids are playing,” said Caligure.  “They’re coming together, we’re practicing hard.  I expect things to get better than what you saw today. I’m really happy with how the kids are playing.”

With a couple of days in between Saturday’s doubleheader and the Wood-bat Tournament at North Salem High School’s Schafer Stadium, the rest will be beneficial for them entering the tourney.

“I think days off are pretty important,” said Hanowell. “Especially for our physical, our bodies, getting better and staying in the game.  I think it’s important just to have time off and just recuperate.”

Follow Jeremy McDonald on Twitter at @J_McDonald81 or like jmcdonaldmedia on Facebook!



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