By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore. – – On paper, Day one of the DeMarini Wood Bat Tournament at North Salem’s legendary grass field at Schaefer Stadium looked to have great games as it should.
But in person, those games were like an Shakespearean Play all wrapped into one.
And let’s include off and on rain showers throughout the day for good measure to this Shakespearean drama.
Add it all together and you’ll get the ending of the Santiam Senators and Rex Putnam’s game as the climax to this story.
Let’s paint the scene, the field, with the showers and two and a half games prior had, as the players, had its far share of wear and tear.
More to that later.
Up 6-5 entering the fifth inning, the Senators and RP enter a rain delay and were up against the drop-dead time.
No not the Shakespeare version of it, but the time to cut off the game.
After roughly 20 minutes, the game resumed with 25 minutes left. Some people in the crowd said sooner, other said let them finish the inning. But they went with the drop-dead time at 25 minutes.
Knowing that, both teams went out.
Noah Ferguson came in for relief for Ryan Brown. Ferguson would give up a few runs and Coach Ron Caligure tried to pull him.
He was denied due to no substitutes over the two hour mark.
“That second game, we went through it and that fifth inning came on, Noah pitched a great inning but they hit it where we couldn’t do anything about it,” said Ryan Brown, who hit the tournament’s lone homerun in game one versus North Salem.
“They had a lot of hits and they scored a lot of runs but that time thing, it got into our favor for once and it helped us out.”
Ferguson and his defense got the three outs…and chewed 17 of the 25 minutes until the cutoff despite giving up nine runs in the top half of the fifth inning.
Hustling out, Rex Putnam wanted to beat the clock by ending the inning with the lead.
Three batters in later, North Salem’s Chris Lee announced that the game reached its time limit and since the game didn’t complete the inning, Santiam was the winner 6-5 because of the score at the last completed inning.
The Senators erupted in celebration, not just they won; they clinched the number one seed from there pool.
“As soon as they announced it, I looked at Devon BeDoya,” started Brown. “Me and him kind of had a awkward moment of staring each other. We had a good time.”
Though they’re the number one seed, Santiam’s Kyle McAlister knows that they need to be on their toes moving forward as they did Thursday.
“Even though we’re the number one seed, it doesn’t mean that there’s not someone better than us,” he said. “And we have to make sure we keep an open mind that we’re great ball players and we just have to go to our next game playing our best instead of playing lazy.”
Going back to the field conditions. After three straight games in the rain, the field conditions were no good for the final game between Australia and the Northwest Stars and the game was postponed to Saturday.
For the team out of Australia, it sucked having to wait another day to play, but will be ready to go come Friday morning in Salem as they made their way to the batting cages at Schaefer Stadium.
“It sucks a lot,” said Melbourne, Australia’s Nick Mason. “I mean we all are waiting to play. Many hours to get here, some guys from Australia, some guys from Abu Dhabi or Dubai.
“We’re all ready to play but yet again it show a lot more tomorrow, we play in the morning, shows how much we really want to be here. How much we want to show what us kids have.”
Santiam Senators 14, North Salem 4– It wasn’t the start to the DeMarini Wood Bat Tournament that the Vikings were looking for, but behind several strikeouts by Will Tsukamaki and Luna Reyes, confidence is there for Friday for North to make a bounce back.
“I think we need to get focus before the game,” said Cameron Kallhoff. “We’ve had trouble getting ready during warm-ups and stuff and just messing around and I think we need to be more about business and getting down and be focused on the game.
Northwest Stars 5, PDX Legion 3– Built a 5-1 lead, held off the 10 hit performance of NW Stars behind a 7 hit to one error performance. Brandon Anderson had the save for NW Stars
Friday’s schedule of games:
Game #4 8:00 NW Stars vs Australia
Game #5 10:30 Australia vs PDX Lgegion #1
Game #6 1:00 Rex Putnam vs North Salem
Game #7 3:30 Black #3 vs Red #2
Game #8 6:00 Red #3 vs Black #2
Follow Jeremy McDonald on Twitter at @J_McDonald81 or like jmcdonaldmedia on Facebook!