By Jeremy McDonald
ROSEBURG, Ore.–It’s been nearly a week since the last time that the Withnell Dodgers were on the diamond, six-days to be exact since their 12-4 victory over the North WIllamette Valley Single-A squad up in Aurora last Monday.
With a rain-out Saturday keeping them off the Field of Dreams for another day, it seemed to be just what the doctor ordered as they won’t have too many of these day-off stretches from here on out.
“It’s always good to have a good rest day, start fresh and be all about baseball so it’s just good to have a couple days off and come back to the field,” said Cole Herschbach on the time-off of playing.
Herschbach, a Sprague High School-product, started the day on the bump, going six-innings of one-run baseball to help the Dodgers find a rhythm defensively that they carried over to the offensive side of the rawhide Sunday afternoon.
“It’s really good,” said Herscbach, who too struck out one before North Salem-Grad Cameron Jolly came in for relief in the seventh inning, on the defense Sunday. “It’s good to have a good defense behind you and know that your making good pitches and get the outfield and infield to get the ball to stop the guy.”
The four-runs allowed by Withnell is the highest amount of runs allowed by their defense this season. The Single-A NWV were the other team that was able to score four against the Dodgers this season as Withnell also bolsters two shutouts to this point.
Three of those runs however by the Doc Stewarts of Roseburg however, came in the eighth inning where some hiccups by the young Dodgers allowed Roseburg to turn a then 10-1 deficit into a 10-4 deficit by innings end; but it’s just a matter of getting used to playing nine-inning games said Cameron Kallhoff.
“I think practice is something that’s going to be key for us,” said Kallhoff. “Just being able to work through stuff and being able to have the heart to stick through a nine-inning game because we don’t play those during the school-season, we played seven.
“So nine-inning games are tougher to stay in and I think practice is going to be key for that.”
Offensively though, Withnell scored 10-plus runs for the fourth-time in five-games this season, scoring 11 total runs versus the Doc Stewarts Sunday with Kallhoff leading the team with two-RBIs himself in the win though Kallhoff thought they were slacking a hair considering they only had eight-hits and six-total RBIs.
But Kallhoff pointed to the small ball game they had working to their advantage, scoring the other five-off of a variation of things that Roseburg was giving them.
“We were slacking a little bit, but we took advantage of mistakes by the other team and that was good, good teams need to do that. I thought we were able to do some small ball stuff and get the bats going too and that’s just something that we’ve been doing throughout the season,” said Kallhoff.
Though starting 5-0 is nice, they know they are just starting off the season on the right note as the Dodgers will play 15 games during the remainder of the month with nine of them at home including Wednesday’s game versus the Gresham Advance Metals at 5:30pm at Willamette University; they enjoy the feeling they are riding right now on their winning ways.
“It’s great, it feels amazing,” said Herschbach. “We love to win, so anything we need to do to win…to get the ‘W’-done.”