By Jeremy McDonald
AURORA, Ore.– Through the first two-innings of Thursday’s partly cloudy, yet-cool June evening, the North Willamette Valley squad from North Marion were settling in behind a Henry Twin-isc pitcher who’s making his move back to Aurora after a year at Horizon Christian in freshman Ryan Olson.
In part of a six-inning, two-hit, five-strikeout performance Thursday evening, Olson helped keep his team out front 1-0 entering the bottom of the third inning until NWV found their bats as they did two-days earlier in West Linn.
“I just knew that my defense had my back and I just pitched strikes and let them hit them and I knew they would get the balls and just kept on pitching strikes,” said Olson.
First-Baseman Hunter Schrenk spoke highly of the soon-to-be-sophomore on how he commanded the mound as well as he did during the game.
“He did amazing, he’s a freshman and he’s new here so he came out and before the game I told him, ‘Fill-it-up’ and that’s what he did,” said Schrenk on the young pitcher.
Speaking of Schrenk, the big six-foot-five infielder played an important role in getting the bats, once dormant entering the third inning, with a two-run single as North Willamette Valley scored twice more in the fourth and once more in the fifth behind nine hits to slowly pull away from West Linn.
“Anything really helps, even though we started off slow, we knew we had to eventually get back to into it because any team could get back into it whenever they can. They can catch fire at any time, so we just caught fire,” said Schrenk.
West Linn tried to find that one spark as they came down to their final outs of the game, and almost had it with the bases loaded in the seventh-inning with an opportunity to quickly turn a 6-0 deficit into something wild with a swing of a bat, but a Milo Bilyeu finishes off the shutout with a strikeout as NWV improves to 2-1 on the season and 2-0 in league-play at the end of Week 1 of Summer Legion Baseball.
Up next for North Willamette Valley is hosting the Dirtbags of West Salem Monday at home, first-pitch is at 5:30pm at North Marion High School.
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Photos By Jeremy McDonald