By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.–Down 6-2 entering the bottom of the third inning, the Vikings of North Salem weren’t shying away of South Salem’s Noah Ferguson as some smart at-bats led to a Jake Mason sacrifice hit and a Zach Goodwin score off a pass ball to cut the deficit in half by innings end.
“We’re a really young team and I liked how we showed passion and kept fighting,” said Mason on the fight for North Salem early on. “It’s really easy with a young team to roll over, but I thought we stayed in, kept clawing and trying to get back into this game.”
On the Saxons end, the soon-to-be-junior in Ferguson spoke to the frustrations that the South defense had as though they picked up six-runs in three-innings, they weren’t playing as sound of baseball as they should have giving up four on the defensive end.
“Just throwing strikes was a kind of a issue I know definitely for me and when Trey (Galbraith) came in, just being able to throw strikes off any type of mound because the mound was flat and then it dove down, so it was a really weird stride,” starts Ferguson on the early going defensively.
“I know it only say we had two errors, but good baseball team, that’s way too many to be having. We should be having one-, maybe even zero. But I think we did really well today for our first game, we just have to keep our focus after this and just make sure we just keep the intensity for the rest of the season.”
The Saxons would find a groove in the fourth and fifth-innings against the young Viks squad with a pair of six-run innings that was started by a Tristen May triple in the top halve of the fourth that brought Brayden Neuharth home.
And it all started with a familiar voice in the dugout in Collin Vogt with South building some momentum for their game Wednesday at home versus Central.
“We started off slow but Vogt never let us sit down, Collin was always telling us, ‘Get up, Get up’ in the dugout and we’re all greeting people when they come in after they scored,” said Soon-to-be-freshman Danny Alvarado. “Just a lot of energy.”
The bats of North couldn’t keep pace with those of Souths in the 18-5 loss, but there has been improvements for the Vikings over their three-games this week as they were focused on defense Thursday versus Central and were more focused on the bats Friday versus South Salem as they look to continue trek upwards for Sunday’s game at Dallas.
Though minor, these lessons, these building blocks are certianly something to build from right? It’s just a matter of keeping your focus on and play a full seven innings.
“It was good to show the competitiveness, to show the heart out there, but we just let off the throttle and just kind of died down toward the end and you can’t do that,” said Reyes Luna. “We put it on them from the beginning and towards the end not let-up, play a full-seven.
“Just keep the focus and the mentality, play our game,” Luna describes on how to keep it up for a full-seven. “If we play our game, everything will come out the way we want it and keep our head in the game.”
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Photos By Jeremy McDonald