By Jeremy McDonald
EUGENE, Ore.–It was a tough start to their game versus Eugene, but it was how they finished that will help them remember the talent and the ability that they have as a unit.
Early on, unlike the past where they clicked across the board, the Withnell Dodgers struggled offensively with one run through six innings and their defense committing an unusual four errors as the Challengers took a early 9-1 lead.
Will Tsukamaki, who pitched the first two innings, admitted that he could’ve done better himself and trying to set the pace of the game for the defense behind him.
“I think it started with me just pitching throughout, not being able to throw strikes killed us because it kills the pace of the game,” said Tsukamaki.
The flatness of the Dodgers continued until the fifth-inning where the defense hung up their first zero and just allowed two more runs over the reminder of the game.
Eventually the bats of Withnell emerged in the eighth-inning where the Dodgers exploded for six runs in the frame to get within two runs of Eugene at 9-7, but couldn’t produce anymore runs after another strong defensive inning to set up their bats for the final three outs in the ninth.
Now that they’ve got that first ‘L’, now they’ve faced some adversity of having to comeback, the challenge now is to bounce-back and remember that they are indeed a good team and can compete with the best of them.
“It’s just a matter of us understanding that we’re a good team and we know how to play with each other so, we got to trust each other in our abilities,” said Tanner Sorensen. “We all can’t do it at once, we’ll be fine, I think we’ll be ok, this is a good group of kids, we’ll be just fine.”
Up next for the Dodgers will be another road test at Wilsonville High School Sunday at 1pm versus the South County Knights.