By Jeremy McDonald
GRANTS PASS, Ore.—Head Coach Jason Searle pointed out after their 6-2 victory Friday afternoon that it’s hard for teams to travel three-plus hours and performed well, but too said that he was proud with how they responded after their 17-7 loss to the Perth Heat Wednesday to their win over Grants Pass a day later.
“Well I’ll tell you what, coming off a three-and-a-half-hour bus ride and then showing up to the field and playing a baseball game is never easy,” said Tanner Sorensen, who had four doubles in the loss to the Heat. “And a team like this we didn’t want to make any excuses for ourselves and we were kind of doing that, we were feeling sorry for ourselves to start off with.
“I’m kind of proud of how we fought back into the game until that last inning and it got away from us a little bit again. But all-and-all we knew that coming out of yesterday we had to bring it mentally today and had to show up to the ballpark and be ready to play a real baseball game and not throw in the towel like we did a little bit.”
Sorensen too added that it was a lesson to help move past a game as they lined-up versus the Nuggets with Chance Bacheller on the bump for the Dodgers; and after a rough start that saw Bacheller hit two batters, surrender a hit and a run in the first, settled in for six-innings of work.
“I just wanted to locate, locate, locate after the first inning where I started off real bad,” said Bacheller who gave up one earned run on five hits on the game. “I knew Grants Pass was a good team and it’s just nice, getting back out here and throwing.”
The defense looked prestige Withnell great by holding a Grants Pass team that finished runner-up to Medford in the State Tournament in 2016 and are sitting second behind those Mustangs (26-7-1) right now, to one-run over the last six innings with their offense dropping seven hits that included three more doubles on top of the five they had Thursday.
And with them picking up a big win against a opponent like that with one more non-league game to go on their schedule with the Roseburg Doc Stewarts at home before their three-game series with the Post 20 Dirtbags, it shows that they got the ability to compete with teams of this caliber ahead of their final four games of the season.
“it shows that we can compete with the best of them…there going to be one of the teams to beat this year and now it shows that we’re capable of it and we’ve had some rough patches throughout the summer and know that we could come out here and compete with a team like this and get a win, it’s a confidence booster heading into the State Tournament.”
And with depth being a crucial thing once they get to the Big Dance, it was nice to see it at full showcase over these few games in between the Mid-Valley series and the Post 20 series.
“It’s good to see depth in our line-up,” starts Bacheller. “Because after a couple of days in the State Tournament, once all of our pitching starts to fade away, it’s good to have guys in there who can get strikes.”
With the 2pm first-pitch scheduled at Willamette University for Roseburg and Withnell, it gives the Dodgers one last chance to build some momentum entering their series versus the Dirtbags who are riding high after big wins over Corvallis and Klamath Falls Wednesday and Thursday.
Other Notables from the two-games in Grants Pass: Tanner Sorensen went 6-9 with three RBIs in the two-game span. Will Tsukimaki had two-RBIs against Perth Thursday and Cole Herschbacher had two Strikeouts against the Colts.