By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– A little over a day since their match-up and not even a day since they won the DeMarini Wood Bat Title in an epic fashion, the North Salem Baseball and Perth Heat were back on the perfect field of Schaefer Stadium.
This time, for a friendly game of a weird sorts.
It was the mixture of slip-n-slide, baseball and cricket. Foul lines like baseball, post, pitches thrown and point system similar to cricket.
Oh yeah, about the slip-n-slide. After you hit the ball at one post, you have to run and slide and be called safe at the other post before the ball comes in.
On the Austrailan side: Nick Mason, ‘Mini’Matsumoto, Josh Duncan, Nathan Blackall and North Salem Head Coach Chris Lee
Cameron Kallhoff, Will Tsukamaki, Keegan Wafer, Jake Mason, Jared Lund and Sean Alvarado were all there on the American side.
Though the Australians won, it gave the boys one last fun time together before going their separate ways.
“It was good, it was good to share cultures with the sport we love and they love and bring it together it was fun,” said Duncan. “It was good to show them a bit of us and mix in their game, it was good.
“We never do that in Australia,” continued Duncan on the Slip-N-Slide aspect. “But on a hot day like this, it was refreshing. It was more incentive to hit the ball, it was good fun.”
Jokes all over the place, jokes on missing a catch, jokes on a bad swing or the ball hitting the post next to the batter for the out, jokes about everyone’s slides and bat flips.
“It was fun, this game,” said Kallhoff. “Getting to know thim and just having fun with them and playing a game like this.”
The most memorable bat flip was when Duncan won the Australians the game off one of his three homeruns that out did Nick Mason trying to do his best Jose Baustista bat flip impersonation.
“I’m a pitcher so whatever at-bats I get in any type of form of game, make the best of it so hitting three bombs,” said Duncan with a smile. “That won’t happen again so I’ll live it today.”
“I threw it right down the middle to you,” said Kallhoff when Duncan asked how it felt to give up a homerun to him. One of his three was against Kallhoff.
“And I crushed it,” responded Duncan as him and Kallhoff laughed. “Game winning run and it was a bomb.”
Jokes like that were the vocal point Monday afternoon.
Lee, who was re-living his College Catcher days, had his fair share of hits and had fun with the kids. And though he didn’t partake in the bat flips, he did feature a few California Surfer Slides on the tarp trying to be safe.
“As a kid we use to have little pickup games like this all the time so , we called it flatball or whatever so whenever we weren’t playing baseball, we were playing pickup games like this. Your still hitting and throwing.
“It’s just good fun and going out and be kids, splashing around and sliding. If you have a bad day on a slip-n-slide then you’re not living right,” Lee finished with a smile.