By Jeremy McDonald
MONMOUTH, Ore.– Entering the seventh-inning, the Keizer Crusher’s were rolling behind the arm of Ryan Beresford as the Stayton Graduate pitched six-and-two-third innings of sound baseball as the Crushers led 6-3.
“I think I did alright,” said Beresford, who had two-strikeouts on the day as well on his performance. “I just need to command my change up more and find the strike-zone.”
It was one of seven times Beresford had pitch dating back to his Eagle playing days as he comes back from a arm injury his junior season.
But, the success that Keizer had built during the first six-innings however proved not to be enough as Newberg rallied and took advantage of miscues the Crushers and took advantage of loaded bases to knot up the score and force extra’s as Keizer couldn’t win it in walk-off in regulation.
Newberg picked up two more runs in the top of the eighth off of Brycen Schumacher, but Keizer fought to load the bases with two outs and an opportunity to knot it up with one good hack of the bat with Riley Hays coming to the plate.
It wasn’t meant to be however as Hays made good contact with the ball on a 0-1 pitch deep to center field only to be caught to end the game, and as they walked off the field, frustration was there as they knew they could’ve shut the door on Newberg but couldn’t find a way to do it.
“It’s just frustrating, you got to make plays on defense and that’s what killed us at the end,” said Hays on the game. “We couldn’t finish, and that’s what we need to do to win games, you got to finish. Play all seven or all nine.”17
With the Crushers starting league back up with a three-game series with a Withnell Dodger squad that lost in a walk-off fashion to the Mid-Coast Dungies Sunday at Corvallis, Keizer knows too that the Dodgers will be coming out as strong as they will be.
“We just need to flush today and focus on winning the game,” said Beresford.
“We just need to out-play them in every aspect of the game,” adds Hays. “We need to hit better, we need to field better and we need to pitch better…every aspect of the game.”