By Jeremy McDonald
NEWPORT, Ore.– The last time the Single-A Santiam Senators met up with the Triple-A Newport, it wasn’t pretty.
And entering the top half of the fifth inning of the nine inning game, with the Tide rolling 7-1, it looked like the same as their earlier meeting.
But, that was before Ryan Brown and Hunter BeDoya went and saw who can hit the ball further with shots off the left field fence to start the fifth inning as the Senators dropped seven unanswered against a Newport team admist a playoff push themselves in their respective league.
By innings end, Santiam held a 8-7 lead and they had the same confidence as the Tide did as they converted what seemed to be the final out in the bottom of the fifth.
It seemed to be the final out because a board operator error accidentally added an out that wasn’t there.
Stunned, the Senators battled to regain their confidence from the Top half of the fifth inning as they saw their 8-7 lead turn into a 13-8 deficit by the seventh inning.
They battled with the players against them, the hostile crowd around them, but they kept battling with the belief that they’re just as good as this team; no matter the situation.
“I just block out the crowd and have momentum going in and belief that you can do it,” said Jordan Butler. “I think we understood that was then and this was now and just shrugged it off, just wiped it off.”
By the bottom of the eighth inning, the Senators were still knocking on the door down 13-9; nobody outside of themselves and their fans believed that they can keep up with a stronger team like Newport.
But they did.
And though the final read 17-9 by game’s end, this game was a stepping stone towards greater things.
“Its good for our confidence going into the next game against South Salem, they’re a bigger school but I think we can do against them,” said Ryan Brown. “There a Triple-A team, but I think we could hang with any team there is. We just had a few errors and getting those run support, it helps pitcher-wise.”
Noah Ferguson seconds Brown’s statement and that they can carry this to the second half of the season.
“It shows that we can hang with the big boys, there a Triple-A team and we scored nine runs on them, that just shows us that we could end up doing very well moving forward,” said Ferguson. “We could potentially go to State, go to regional’s and maybe if we could get far enough, World Series. We’ll just have to keep playing well, we can compete with anyone.”
But, it’s a one step at a time process and up next for the boys in the Red and White are the boys from South Salem in the Saxons. First pitch is at 5pm.
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SOME PICTURES FROM THE GAME (PICTURES BY JEREMY MCDONALD)