By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– It took until their fourth game, backed by a complete team effort at North Salem’s Schaefer Stadium, for the Perth Heat of Australia to crack into the win column on American Soil.
Something that was awesome said Head Coach Steven Fish.
“We just came out aggressive and did the little things right, ” he said. “We threw strikes, we made the plays. The guys were on their toes, we came out and we were aggressive.
“Offensively, we got it going on the bases today. So we took a couple of extra bars and put some pressure on those guys and we came out victorious. It was great to see those boys come out victorious, they really put it together.”
The Heat did indeed put the heat on the Santiam Senators of Stayton, Oregon behind Grant Svikulis’ arm and three straight innings of two runs in the 7-2 win over the 6-3 Senators.
The Heat’s Jacob Rizio had a RBI Single in the contest as he describes play baseball in America as awesome.
With just playing once or twice a week back home, he’s loving the pace and the summer weather in the States.
“It’s awesome, absolutely awesome, ” said Rizio. “We’re living the dream with each other right now. It’s absolutely amazing, nice hot weather, we can play with each other all the time.
“If you have a bad game, you got next game tomorrow in a couple of hours. It’s just awesome, we absolutely love it.”
Fish mentioned how its going to be a grind, playing a ton of games within a 30 day span, but he knows his squad is ready for it.
“It’s great for them to play, a chance to see college and professional baseball is all about,” said Fish. “It’s a grind for them to be able to come out and do it for 30 days in a row, its going to show their resilience of each and every one of these players.
“It’s a big challenge for them, but they’re pretty excited. They had a great day today, they’re pretty excited to win a ballgame and they’re ready to win three more tomorrow.”
This team is slowly coming together despite only being together for a few days. You saw that by Game three of Day One that the Boys in White and Red are getting comfortable with one another on and off the diamond.
“Obviously our first day was kind of rough, we’re still getting to know each other,” said Nick Mason. “Now it’s almost as if we’re brothers. They’re great kids, a lot of these kids have talent. The fact that we can joke with each other, the fact that we hang out with each other. Things we like to do are pretty much the same.
“We all have the same passion to play baseball at a high level so that kind of helps us stick together real well.”
With them coming together and picking up some momentum for their American trip that will last until July 18, confidence is high.
“Yesterday we had our first three games were losses, entering today it was a new day. The sun’s shining, it was great for us,” said Mason. “Before the game I went and said to the boys, ‘how much do we want it? What did we come here for?’ “
Something did spark for Peath Heat though, and with them watching Rex Putnam and North Salem, most of the Viking players in which are hosting them, the Heat were hanging out together watching the game as friends, as brothers, as the Boys of Summer.
PHOTO GALLERY (PICTURES BY JEREMY MCDONALD)