By Jeremy McDonald
THE DALLES, Ore.– It didn’t take long for the Santiam Senators put aside Friday’s loss to North Marion Saturday over the hill along the Columbia River.
In fact, their defense resembled that from their Thursday’s game versus West Linn and their bats were clutch as they swept of HRVHS Carson Oilers 5-1, 3-2 to improve to 14-9 overall and 8-2 in league.
Game one of the doubleheader had Brandon Gieselman pitch a six strikeout, complete gem performance. In Game two, Donovan Stanley had three ‘K’s’ himself as his squad had a 2-0 lead before Noah Ferguson came in for relief.
But things would get interesting for the Senators as the Oilers knotted it up at two before Noah Ferguson gave back the lead at 3-2 in the sixth inning when he took home off a wild pitch.
As the defense’s slowed each other down in the bottom of the sixth and the top of the seventh inning as it came down to the wire between the Santiam defense and the HRVHS offense.
The Senators got a quick out from Ferguson and the defense to start the inning.
In a blink of the eye however, a runner got on base and a couple of bad luck plays had runners on the corners with one out.
Ron Caligure comes out, calls time and brings out the Diesel Train of Gieselman to close out the game Madison Bumgarner-style for the save.
“I was just coming in trying to pound the zone, not being afraid of letting him hit the ball,” said Gieselman. “I had a great defense behind me and I knew they will do their best to make the best play.”
First pitch came, Gieselman’s arm looked fresh as if he pitched the whole inning up to that point.
Second pitch, a grounder to Grayson Hanowell who started a sequence for a double play that ended with Riley Nichol stretching out for the game-ending outs to end the game.
Though the bats were slow, they were clutch in Game one and game two in producing runs when they needed it (Picture By Jeremy McDonald)
Ryan Brown described that inning as nerve racking at first but that first out by Greyson Hanowell helped settle them in for the second one
“The second one was super close and I was hoping we would get it and when we got it, I kind of look at Greyson and we yelled and shoulder bumped,” said Brown. “It was really excited .”
As Santiam walks off the diamond to go to Spooky’s in The Dalles for pizza, they completed one of the hardest weeks of the year.
Two games versus North Marion, one versus West Linn and two against Hood Valley in a span of five days and the fact they went 3-2, Gieselman chalks it up for a good week.
“We won two today, we won against West Linn, it was a good week I think,” said Gieselman. “We’re going to the State Playoffs so that’s always great. I think it was a pretty good week.”
That’s a story all in itself.
But there’s so much excitement knowing that Santiam just needed two wins entering Saturday and they got both in the same day.
“It’s great because we’re a team of 3A, 4A, 5A and two 6A people,” said Brown. “We’re a little town but we still kick butt.”
Confidence is huge for the boys from small Stayton entering their league finale versus Madison Monday.