By Jeremy McDonald
CENTRAL POINT, Ore.– The magical run for the North Marion, North Willamette Valley, Summer Legion team came to a abrupt end Friday to the hands of the North Jackson Royals of Eagle Point.
As the walked off Anhorn Field and loaded up the buses, they know that this journey, this experience, will help them entering Spring of 2017.
“It gave us a chance to have young guys come together as a team and see what we can do as a team,” said Nic Iliyn. “Go out there and see how far we can get.
“I’m really happy with how far we came, we got this year in summer ball.”
For recently graduate Matt Robinson, he took this opportunity as a second life with his team.
“For me it was like a second chance to finish business from the regular season,” he started. “It’s my last year, it gave me another opportunity with these guys to do more than we did last year and I feel like we’ve accomplished that.”
Entering their quarterfinal game, North Jackson built a 2-0 lead entering the second inning and tried to increase it to 3-0 when they sent a runner home from third; only to be met by the glove of one Sam Garcia to end the inning.
Garcia bunted over the two runners on base over and the throw to first missed its target as North gets on the board on the error.
The Royals scored two more in the third as Dylan Doubrava’s glove just missed getting the ball for a possible nice defensive play to increase their lead to 4-1.
But they never gave up hope.
Doubrava and Hunter ‘Tiny’ Schrenk connected for a double play in the fourth inning that saw North Jackson score seven unanswered to lead the Huskies 11-1 as they got the inning ending out on the next batter.
North Marion got runners on second and third, Angel Perfecto gets a strikeout, Doubrava and Noah Vachter gets a fly out from their respective positions.
“It’s was good how the players didn’t give up and we just kept going,” said Robinson. “I also feel like we need to battle harder at the beginning and not letting it get in that kind of situation when we’re down big like that.”
Andy Schmitz picks up a single to start the bottom of the fifth inning , Nic Iliyn walked.
This competition trait, the Huskies know, will be able to be carried over into Spring Ball.
“Just continue to compete, have fun, play the game of baseball the way we had throughoutthe summer,” said Doubrava. “We’ll continue that next school ball year.”
With Robinson wrapping up his prep career in the Green of North Marion, he shares a message on how he hopes the legacy of North Marion baseball will continue to the younger players:
“Throughout my career, its been like ‘Fight for North Marion”,” Robinson said. “And that it’s just not about you, its aboit everyone else and you work with them to accomplish the goal.
“It’s not about your statistics, its not about how you do in a game. It’s about how all you do collectively.”
PHOTO GALLERY (PICTURES BY JEREMY MCDONALD)