By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– The Fourth Of July. Fireworks galore celebrating our Independence.
Why not play our National Pass-time, be like the boys in The Sandlot and play baseball all day and see the fireworks at night?
As Cameron Jolly went out on his mom’s birthday to start for the Withnell Dodgers and Austin Brown for the Keizer Crushers, there was a sense of pride of playing on Independence Day.
“Oh it’s awesome,” said Withnell’s Tanner Sorensen. “It’s awesome to play a sport like baseball on such a fun day and it’s pretty American, I feel like a true American out here, it’s just a lot of fun.”
“It’s fun because a lot of MLB teams are playing today,” said Keizer’s Brenden Frizelle. “It would’ve been nice to take a couple of wins but it’s a good day at the park.”
Keizer got on-top of Jolly early by building a 2-1 lead on the Dodgers in the big doubleheaders for both team’s looking for a playoff push.
But, Jolly and his defense settled in. Jolly had six strikeouts and Sorensen hit a massive solo-shot as they held off the bats of Riley Hays (2-4 in game 1) and Tyler Covalt (3-3 in game 1) for the 9-3 victory.
The loss sparked some momentum in the Crushers as Jasiah Gilbert (6 innings pitched, six K’s) and Cody Vestal (6 innings, 1 K) wheeled and deal for their squads with Withnell leading 2-1 entering the bottom of the fifth inning.
But, that’s when the Dodgers put a steak in the three-game sweep with a five-run bottom of the fifth inning led by Hunter BeDoya’s two-run single to extend the lead up 7-1 by inning’s end, which ended up to be the final score of the game as both teams clamped down defensively over the last two innings as they did Monday in Game One of the series.
As both teams go there separate ways for the rest of the week, the Crushers to Roseburg and Grants Pass, the Dodgers, to Boise for a tournament; they will spend the night celebrating with friends and family.
But, how about their favorite food to eat on Independence Day?
“Hum, that’s a very hard question,” starts Keizer’s Noah Tavera with a smile. “I like all sorts of food, maybe Caesar Salad. I don’t know, I just love Caesar Salad, it’s super good.”
“At my house, we got these super good cheese-sausages,” said Sorensen. “It’s like a big sausage but there’s cheese in the inside, so it’s like…amazing and put a little ketchup on it, I’m going to eat five-of-those tonight.”
But is it healthy?
“Oh no-no-no, it’s not the point right?” said Sorensen with a laugh.
While some others, it’s about picking something up on the Fourth of July.
“I’m a big time Hawaiian Time guy,” said Jolly with a smile. “A little Hawaiian Time yeah.”
Happy Fourth Of July!
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Photos By Jeremy McDonald