MONMOUTH, Ore.–Enteringthe bottom of the fourth inning, it looked like Klamath Falls were making easy work of Post 20 by exploding for eight runs over the first three innings whilw holding a good-hitting Dirtbag team to one hit during that span.
Frustrations were there, but Post 20 knew the confidence was there despite the big mountain in front of them down 8-0 as Coach McDonald pulled them aside and gave them a pep-talk.
“Well Coach (Scott) McDonald actually brought us together and was like, ‘you know what, let find a way…let’s keep them at eight runs, keep them there and we’ll just find a way’,” said Anthony Zellner. “Let’s get 90-feet at a time. Next guy without any outs and get barrels on balls’.”
The Pep-talk worked and slowly but surely, the Dirtbags did rallied.
Five runs in the bottom of the fourth with their defense hanging back-to-back zeros entering the bottom of the sixth down 8-5.
Wittman beats out a throw to load bases 0 outs off a bunt. Treve Earhart blips a single to left shallow field 8-6, Blake Buchheit walks and a run comes in, 8-7. Tanner Earhart ties it at eight with a sacrifice fly to right that brought Wittman home.
A throwing error at 2nd brought home the go-ahead run .and by innings end, it was 9-8 Post 20 by the time the inning ended
“It was a really good inning,” said Zach Wallace who’s hit in the fourth inning help spark the Dirtbags to that strong inning. “i was just trying to find something to get our team going and trying to get us into a position to score some runs and the team did a really good job on falling through with it and we did a really good job doing that.
“Baseball is a up-and-down game (and) once you start getting it on your side you got to keep it the whole entire game and we luckily had momentum coming on our way at the end of the game and we just followed through and kept going with it and didn’t give any momentum back.”
Wallace too had another big hit following the fourth inning to help keep the mojo flowing in favor of the Dirtbags.
But, 12 outs went by and no runs were scored as the game came down to its final three outs with the game holding at 9-8.
A double play got two quick outs, but Klamath Falls made it interesting with the bases juiced with two outs.
On the mound, Zellner knew the pressure was on as time was called with the board reading ‘3 balls, 2 strikes and 2 outs’ and the tying run at 90 feet away.
“3-2 count, two outs and knowing you got to throw it in the zone and that’s all I tried to do,” said Zellner on the situation as the adrenaline e was pumping like riding a roller-coaster at Six Flags. “Yeah it’s nerve-racking and you know if you throw a ball and it’s tie ball-game and a whole entire ball game and it’s a whole new game.
“But at least I try to shut it down and just focusing throwing it in the zone and let everyone work and just trusting in your guys. Works best way I guess,” Zellner laughed.
With their hearts pounding and the crowd holding their breath, Zellner loads up and delivers:
The pay-off was a game-saving, game-winning ‘Strike 3’ was shouted by the umpire that caps yet another great game on back-to-back days as the Post 20 Boys built a lot of momentum into their two days off before their three-game series against the Withnell Dodgers starting Sunday.
“It’s awesome, coming off last night against Corvallis out there,” said Zellner on the momentum entering this week. “It was a crazy game and we got so much momentum going into it right now and it feels great find a way to win the game and going into the weekend and being able to enjoy it and being able to enjoy the summer for a couple of days and get back after it against a team that, we know every player on that team, everybody knows everybody by name,”
“We’re talking on the field, I’m standing on second-base talking to Tori Doten. So it’s a lot of fun anyway out there, it’s just exciting go out there and get a chance to win league and compete.”
Game one of the three-game series is slated for Sunday at 5pm at Western Oregon University.
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