By Jeremy McDonald
MERIDIAN, Idaho– It wasn’t how the Withnell Dodgers were hoping to continue their run in the Summer Classic in the Greater Boise area Saturday.
Their defense recovered in the second game against Reno after a 14-6 loss to Spanish Springs, too from Nevada, but their bats weren’t there as it was in their previous three-games of the Tournament; espically in that second game versus the Athletics of Reno.
After a strong start and gaining a 3-2 lead by the end of the first inning, the bats went flat despite their defense giving them opportunities to regain the lead and/or build on that early lead on several occasions over the next six innings.
“I think it’ll take us to say, ‘oh, we’re all tired and he just made that play, I think that’s a lot of inspiration just going, ‘ok, we can push past that, this isn’t that bad and being able to get past it’.”
The final versus the A’s was 5-3, and with the Dodgers playing their fourth and fifth-games under their third-straight near 100-degree day in Idaho, the frustrations are there with how Saturday went.
“Both teams were pretty good. We just need to bounce back from today this, it was a little disappointing,” said Tori Doten. “We didn’t have energy on the field, I think it was…it was a long tournament, and so it’s pretty hot so, but we need to bounce-back from this, either tomorrow or during our league season.”
Regardless if they get a sixth-game Sunday or not, the eight-hour trip to The Gem State has served just like that, a gem-of-sorts with them bonding as a team as they head back to Salem for the three-game series with the Mid-Coast Dungies of Newport starting on Tuesday at home.
“It’s been a really good bonding experience on and off the field, said Doten. “I mean we really needed it chemistry-wise, but I think we found it and we just got to bounce back and use that chemistry.”
With the Dodgers eye-ing a trip back to the State Playoffs, this experience against some tough competition from Idaho and Nevada will certainly help see where they are at and how they can improve upon if they draw a tough opponent in the Big Show at the end of the month.
More so considering between Saturday, July 8 and July 27 when the State Tournament starts, the Dodgers will only have for sure two day’s off, so this mental toughness of playing in the heat versus top competition will help out.
“I think it’s really good for us because…we’ve been really mentally runned down, we got a lot of physical toll on us right now,” said Kallhoff. “Having to push past that and just getting the job done is a really good thing to learn if we want to do good things in the State Tournament.
“It’s going to take a lot of mental focus for us to push pass this and get to the State Tournament and I think just resting and just being able to cool down will really help us.”
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Photos By Jeremy McDonald