By Jeremy McDonald
CENTRAL POINT, Ore.—During the regular season, North Marion only lost one league game en route to entering the Single-A Playoffs at Anhorn Field in Central Point.
Now, their 21 outs away from advancing to the Semi-Finals round after a 15-5 win over Santiam Thursday afternoon.
“We wanted to come in here and see how many days we can stay here, we get to stay another night so that’s what we came here for,” said Dylan Doubrava.
“It feels pretty awesome knowing that we lost some guys, we had our bench fill in and their really filling in,” added Hunter Schrenk, who had four RBIs in the win.
Entering the bracket, they were without three starters and had 11 guys travel down from Aurora to compete against some of the toughest competition that the State has to offer.
But, injuries are making it interesting for the North Willamette Valley squad as they enter their quarterfinal game with nine; and they have welcomed this adversity like a friend.
“Everyone stepped up, we have team bonding where we can expect someone to step up and play a position they haven’t played or get a base hit when they need it,” said Doubrava. “We’ve been bonding this whole time we’ve been down here.”
Going off of that, in admist the bottom of the third inning that North saw a 5-0 lead shrink down to 5-3 to the Senators, starting pitcher Andy Schmitz went down with a elbow injury and Trevor Ensign came in for relief to hold a tough Santiam offense to two runs over the last several innings.
You saw this trust, this belief within another as they played with the cards they were dealt with as the Huskies Nine battled through the adversity of what they had.
“We have been together for a long time, so it’s all combining together,” said Schrenk.
In Game One versus the Bottlecaps from Roseburg, the North bats were going, but weren’t falling as they did today.
And they know they’ll need to carry that momentum forward to Friday’s game.
“It gets the bats going,” said Doubrava. “We had the bats going yesterday it’s just weren’t falling. Everyone was having productive at-bats and that’s what we shoot for.”
As they load up the buses to go back to their hotel, they’ll take the same approach as they have up to this point.
“Just keep doing the same thing we’ve been doing, we go hang out at the hotel and take it like a new day, just come and play a game,” said Doubrava. “It’s been like, the last two days, we wake up eight o’clock, be here at ten and play a game.
“Hopefully that’s going to be for the rest of the tournament for us.”
But come game day Friday at noon, it’s time for business.
“We get here and we think that all of our productive at-bats going into the game, but as soon as we step foot on the field for warm-ups, our minds are set for the game,” said Schrenk. “There’s no screwing around or anything.”
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