By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– A few weeks ago, Cole Hamilton, Noah Boatwright and Cameron Jolly all were at North Salem High School, helping the Vikings into the OSAA 6A Playoffs.
Now, as we enter July, the Big Three are playing Summer Legion for Triple-A Withnell Dodgers.
Hamilton, who’s going to NCAA Division-II Western Oregon Unviersity, knows how important it is to stay sharp during this time.
“It’s nice because you can really fine-tune things,” he said. “There’s no practice really, practice is the game. So you always see live pitching. I was way out of everything the past couple of weeks. Coach Doran, our hitting coach really worked keeping my hands back, driving some the other way.
“So I thought I came through today with some big at-bats and got the job done. It’s just keeping the train rolling. It’s like a little ball of snow pushed down the hill it’ll become a giant snowball so that’s what we’re trying to get going.”
Hamilton’s bat help set the pace for the Dodgers as well as picking up another save in the ninth-inning of Wednesday’s Game one versus
For Boatwright, he knows that this transition is just a taste of what is to come for him at Chemeketa Community College in the Fall.
“This is definitely big for me because I’ve never played legion ball,” said Boatwright. “So it’s fun to play as higher competition as you do at the Varsity level and I think that transitions into the summer as we keep going the competition keeps getting more difficult. It’s really fun, I like playing with these guys.
Pitcher Jolly, who picked up a win on the mound in June 29’s doubleheader, knows that the importance of repetition for him as a pitcher with his mechanics and pitching endurance in these summer league season’s.
“I love the summer time, getting in over and over again, it’s really helpful,” he said. “Especially for the college season are going to be at a really high level. This is great competition to get ready for it.”
Jolly is going to Linn-Beaton Community College to pitch.
Hamilton, Boatwright, and Jolly weren’t the only former/current Vikings playing for the Dodgers. Alex Roberts (Class of 2015), Andy Bivens (Class of 2015), Dalton Garza (Class of 2016) and Nick Raksa (Class of 2018) are all on the team as well.
It’s like a little North Salem reunion.
“It’s cool because we’ve all played with each other and we’ve just add the rest of what we can choose from the rest of the schools so it’s nice, they’re all good friends,” said Hamilton. “We all know how to play baseball. Most of us has played for two summers now, we really know each other and how we play. It’s always fun.”
Other Pictures of the Three (Pictures by Jeremy McDonald)