By Jeremy McDonald
DALLAS, Ore.– There’s no doubt that there’s been some nerves to how this summer league as started for the North Salem Baseball team as they traveled to Dallas Sunday afternoon, as they were on their toes a lot so far in the past three games and facing a 3-2 deficit to the Dragons after the first inning.
“Our season so far has been really slow because we haven’t been able to get some outs in the innings and we’ve really been focusing on that and our defense,” said Keegan Wafer.
But entering the fifth inning, though the score favored Dallas a little more, 5-2 at this point, something was clicking as they slowly cut into the deficit by getting some base-runners and some runs on the board.
“I like it pretty well because we overcame our fear with high-pitchers, but they weren’t that fast I mean,” said Wafer. “We hit the ball pretty well and we got some plays in and quick innings, this is a really good game.”
That’s when the North Salem squad found a groove and found some offensive mojo to get themselves back into this ballgame.
With the bases-loaded, Jake Mason hit a two-run double that started a inning that saw the Vikings turn a 5-2 hole into a 6-5 lead by innings end as the soon-to-be-senior in Mason knew how important that hit was to turn the tide of momentum into their favor.
“I thought it was a big momentum changer and if I strucked out, I think we would’ve have stayed in it like we did,” said Mason on his at-bat “Just that one at-bat a game can really change the momentum (of the game).”
The Dragons answered back with two-runs of their own in the bottom half of the inning, but the Vikings defense stepped up and held them to the 7-6 score that went final.
After the game however, as North Salem was having their post-game round-table discussion, a Dallas Coach stopped racking the infield dirt and walked over to talk to the team, echoing the sentiments that Coach Chris Lee was saying to the team about how competitive the Vikings were and how the Dragons were in the same boat as they were.
The team looked as if they got a surprised gift on Christmas when they were listening to the coach and what he was saying, they knew how awesome it was to have a coach from another team walk-over and say something to them like their coach did moments earlier.
“It’s pretty cool, it’s pretty nice to have another coach come up and say you did really well because that shows in the future that we’re going to play really well in the Summer League,” said Wafer on the situation.
“Oh it’s great to have a coach come up and say we’re really competing,” adds Mason. “It just shows the rest of the players that we’re trying our best and it’s nice to show the team that we are.
Now, as they load up the buses and head back to Salem; remembering what Coach Lee and the Dallas coach told them and taking it to heart, they’ll use these next couple of days to prepare for McNary on Thursday.
“It’s big, we got a low number of players so everyone has to play, it’s nice to have a few days off to rest up and get ready for our next game,” said Mason.
Follow Jeremy McDonald on Twitter @J_McDonald81 or like jmcdonaldmedia on Facebook!
Photos By Jeremy McDonald