By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– Playing four games in a span of six days is hard for any team, athlete, coach.
But managing to walk away from them with four straight wins, and the last two as shutouts, it’s something speical as South Salem finished the week strong over Forest Grove Saturday afternoon.
“Pitchers really have been there on the zone and pitching well and got defenders out there making plays for us when we need them,” said Aaron Zavala. “So all-and-all it just comes all together for a good outing.”
Zavala pitched a complete-game, five strikeout, one-hit ball game versus the Vikings with their pitcher from Game 1 of this four-day voyage in Ryan Brown got the Saxons on the board with a sacrifice RBI that was followed by a pass ball that put South up 2-0 by innings end.
The defense held their ground versus the Vikings, holding their ground as they increased their lead to 3-0 by the start of the sixth-inning.
“It’s great, it’s only going to get us better, these four wins are just going to keep us hungry,” said Sean Alvarado. “One of my coaches always says, ‘be the ally-cat, be hungry. Don’t be a fat-cat, be a cat where you want to be better and your always working and you always wanting to strive.”
Then, the bottom of the sixth-inning happened following another great defensive show.
What happened was the bats roar to life as they did to McKay to start the week as they erupted for seven runs in the bottom of the frame to seal the game and ending the game with the 10-run rule that started with Gavin Fredinburg’s two-run RBI to pull them into a two-way tie for first-place in the Greater Valley Conference standings with McMinnville at 5-1.
“The energy is good, the effort level is good, like I said, if you take care of that stuff, the rest takes care of the self,” said Head Coach Max Price. “So I think guys have done a good job just taking care of what we can control and that’s just been resulting in wins in league which is good.”
“I thought our guys did really well with the games,” adds Zavala. “We came out everyday with energy and came out the week with four wins, so we did a good job with that.”
South Salem will take some time off from GVC play as they will do a two-game series versus Aloha Tuesday (at home, 5pm) and Wednesday (at Aloha, 5pm).
JV RESULT- Forest Grove over South Salem. The JV Squad of South Salem came out sluggish in the first game of the doubleheader with Forest Grove, but steadily improved by Game 2 in the 7-2 defeat.
“It was really frustrating because we were letting our mental and physical stuff get in the way,” Noah Ferguson said of the frustration of the two losses. “We had too many errors in the first game, I think we had four. Two of them were mine so I have to clean that up, just stuff like that, not being able to recover from that and not knowing what your next play is, what to do next, it gets really frustrating.
Ferguson spoke to how well they came out more focused and ready to go in the second game of their doubleheader Saturday as they could use that as a learning tool on how to play focused baseball and better themselves from that point moving forward.
“Just starting getting focused on the bus ride, when we got here, we were messing around when we drove up, but that time when we get to the ball field, it’s baseball, start thinking baseball. Getting into the mindset of ready to win and knowing what you have to do to get that win.”
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Photos By Jeremy McDonald