By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– After taking a brief 1-0 lead on West Salem entering the second inning as the home team at the Titans home field, West Salem scored eight-runs over the next four innings thanks in part to hitting to the gaps where the Scots weren’t at Tuesday afternoon, setting the pace for most of the game against a improving Scots defense.
“I like it a lot, our outfield, our first-steps are getting better towards the ball and reading it in the air,” said Jovi Davis as though McKay gave up 11 hits on the day, they only committed two errors, identical to that of the Titans. “Our infield is making great plays, laying out their bodies on the line just to make a routine groudner sometimes and just getting the throws.
“It’s just amazing to see.”
But, down 8-1 entering the bats of the Scots awoke once more as they did against Forest Grove as one of their three doubles came off of the bat of Noah Tavera in the bottom half of the fifth as McKay cut the lead to 8-3 entering the sixth.
Riding that momentum, the defense strung together two big innings with Jasiah Hanson pitching the sixth and Tavera coming in for the seventh to keep a twin of goose-eggs on the scoreboard.
“We found the bats pretty well because we got a new pitcher and even with the last pitcher, we got his speed down, I think we could’ve done it faster,” said Jesse Aguliar.
“It’s great for later on in the season and maybe into next season, just to keep that going from the start so we could have a better season, maybe a better chance for some playoffs.”
The bats kept rolling en route to seven hits on the day, including another huge shot in the bottom of the seventh, but the Scots couldn’t cut the deficit down further despite getting base-runners on the base-paths.
But hey, the last two-and-a-half innings, it’s something to build from to end the season strong with McNary coming Wednesday and Friday in seeing if they can piece together a complete game to propel them into the off-season and into the 2018 season.
“They’re going to be a solid, discipline team,” said Aguilar. “At that point, we just got to worry about getting in strong, getting in a complete game.
“Keep the momentum since we finished strong, just carry that out to into tomorrow going into McNary and just trying to ride that train throughout the whole game,” adds Davis. “Keep our bats on. Our defense is there, we’re not giving up as many runs or errors, that’s a bright side of it,
“We just need to make our offensive approach better and get our bunts down, steals signs all that kind of stuff.”
Game one of the two-game series will be at McNary Wednesday (5pm) and at McKay for Senior Day Thursday (5pm).
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Photos By Jeremy McDonald