By Jeremy McDonald
AURORA, Ore.– Playing Triple-A teams have their benefits when your a Single-A team like North Willamette Valley because it gives you the taste of what it is to come when State comes to their home field here in a few weeks with schools from the Southern-end of the State of Oregon.
“It helps us be more focused, so we’re able to hit the ball better, play defense better, stay focused throughout the game because those nine-inning games help us stay through the seven-inning games real easy,” said Andy Schmitz.
Entering Monday’s game versus Orofino Merchants of Idaho, NWV out-scored fellow Single-A opponents 46-3, and not really knowing their opponent as they have with teams like West Linn; their success continued as they jumped out to a 4-0 after two innings of play.
Defensively, Griffin Henry started the game and struck out three as four pitchers combined for a one-hitter and were clutch whenever someone got on base from error or walk.
Schmitz made several outs himself as his defense too shut the door on the Merchants from breaking the shutout as North Willamette Valley picked up their fourth ten-run game of the summer in the 10-0 win.
“It keeps us focused, it gets the energy up and it just helps everyone out as a team,” said Schmitz.
As a whole, Griffin Henry spoke to how they prepare for their opponent regardless if they are from Oregon or another state.
“We prepare for anything,” said Henry. “I mean we didn’t know anything about this team so, we had to hope for the best. Our infield had one mistake in the first inning and then they picked up after that, it was real nice.”
With NWV circulating pitchers to get everyone some valuable innings in before the OSU Tournament this weekend, it is important to stay on this course as they prep for that tournament that starts on Friday.
“We just got to get Andy back, he had an off-game but he’ll be back I’m sure, and we got to keep, with our team, and just motivate everyone,” said Henry.
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Photos By Jeremy McDonald