By Jeremy McDonald
AURORA, Ore.– You could call it a sour taste in their mouths. You could even say it’s just adding gas to the gas spark plug that feeds their fire.
Regardless, how Saturday’s game versus Scappoose wasn’t how they wanted to close a successful preseason schedule that saw them sit at 6-2 entering Saturday’s match-up with the Indians.
“It was pretty hard on all of us, we just came out flat and that’s definitely something we didn’t want to do going into league,” said Trevor Ensgin. “We got to flush it tonight and come out Wednesday and play hard and get that first ‘W’ in league.”
The bats that were so dominate in the majority of their preseason games, were quiet as they were only able to produce two hits all game and their lone run coming off a error in the early going of the game.
Griffin Henry pitched three solid, shutout and hit less innings as the sophomore had four strikeouts in the game with North Marion holding a 1-0 lead and looking to stay in front with their bats looking to awake.
However, it was the wood of Scappoose that did the most damage as they not just handed Henry his first hit of the game from the mound, but picked up four runs in the inning to take a 4-1 lead on a Huskie squad that showed frustration entering the dugout by innings end.
Nic Iliyn and Dylan Doubrava, Iliyn from the field and Doubrava from the dugout, both spoke of how important this preseason was for the squad to get some valuable experience mentally as North Marion found themselves not snapping out of their funk during the game.
“It just teaches us that we just can’t roll out, think we’re going to win a game just playing, but keep focused,” said Iliyn. “No matter, if we get down, we just got to keep rolling, it doesn’t matter.”
“Just forgetting about the past and moving on to the next inning,” adds Doubrava. “Bottom half of the inning or top half. Just learn from the mistakes, forget about it and just make the routine plays.”
Ensign came in during the fifth inning after the Indians picked up their fifth and final run as the 6’10 lefty picked up two quick outs as he picked up a strikeout in two innings and Tanner Scanlan continued the strong pitching with a shutout seventh as the Huskies now turn their focus back to practice and preparation for Newport Wednesday.
And that’s where it all starts said Ensign.
“We talked a lot about it in our huddle, but practice is really important,” he starts. “Especially coming up in these parts after a weak performance and we’re going to come out and have that fire in our bellies. Even through practice and got to stay mentally focus so come Wednesday we’re ready to play.”
Iliyn adds to it in that, though the preseason taught them a lot on how they got improve on, it is over and now they’re starting over with Oregon West Conference-play with a Cubs team that has already have five wins to their resume.
“Well that’s the preseason and we can use what we learn through all of these games, store it all in our heads and now we’re starting over,” said Iliyn. “League starts on Wednesday and we got to work harder and we got to be focused in practice and we got to have energy.”
First pitch at Newport is at 4:30pm.
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Photos By Jeremy McDonald