By Jeremy McDonald
MCMINNVILLE, Ore.– In a change of venue against a familiar foe, the Santiam Senators found themselves playing on the same diamond that homes the NCAA Division-III Linfield Wildcats with the Mountain View Thunder.
And obviously, there’s some excitement behind playing on a college field as a high school athletes who aspire to play at the next level.
“It’s cool, I like this field. I really like the turf mounds” said Donovan Stanley. “I’ll like to do it in the future.”
For the soon-to-be sophomore, Stanley will play an important factor on a college field where the Senators (11-7) snap their three-game losing streak.
Tied at 4, Santiam scored five unanswered runs thanks for the Senators bats awakening from a deep sleep and had strong performances by starting pitcher Noah Ferguson and Donovan Stanley in for relief to keep Mountain View off the board between the third and fifth innings.
But it seemed as if, though the Thunder was brewing, waiting for their moment to strike down 9-4. It was similar to the tension Saturday at McMinnville High School’s Home Diamond.
A moment occured when the Thunder broke the shutout streak in the sixth inning as they brought in looking for more.
As they look to add their second run of the inning and momentum hanging in rhe air; the relay of the Santiam defense met the runner at he as Greyson Hanowell tagged the runner at home before the runner could tag home plate to end the inning.
“It’s really fun when you get plays like that,” said Hanowell with a smile. “It really ups the intensity of team.
“When I saw the ball and I see the runner goes around because I’m right behind home,” Hanowell described the play. “I see the runner going around, ‘we can get this!’, that’s what I’m thinking. So I’m yelling ‘four, four, four’ and I know Ryan (Brown) got a really good arm, he chucks it down and I got the tag down and it (was) ‘Yes! We got it!’ It sealed the deal for us.”
The Senators went down in order as a ground out to first to start the seventh inning. Kyle McAlister gets a deep fly out to Center Right Field, two outs.
On a 2-2 count, Jacob Haller, who came in for relief for Stanley, struck out the final guy for the win.
“I thought it was great that we kept competing coming off of a tough two days, losing our last three games, we could’ve came in here down on ourselves, not wanting to try,” started Haller “We came out with fire today. Pitchers pitched great and we hit the ball around and do what we needed to do.”
The win not just puts Santiam back into the win column, it also gives them some mojo entering one of the toughest weeks in their league schedule versus West Linn and North Marion.
“It’s really encouraging and really great,” said Haller. “We have to go in with three league games that are really important coming off a win, it keeps our excitment up and our momentum and drive going into these practices and games so I think it’s really going to help us.”
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PHOTO GALLERY (PICTURES BY JEREMY MCDONALD)