Down To Their Final Nine ‘Outs’

By Jeremy McDonald

ALBANY, Ore.–They could make excuses for what happened Friday.  They could blame the strike-zone, faulty light-bulbs or whatever it may be, but one thing is for certain:

Saturday could be it.
The Withnell Dodgers are down to their figurative last nine outs of their season. Nine innings to go out and do one of two things:  Continue or Go-Home.
It could bring out the worst of teams, but it could also bring out the best from them as well.
“I’ll tell you, we know our backs are against the wall but we know we’re not going to back-down so,” said Tanner Sorensen. “It’s going to be exciting to see what we’re going to do tomorrow and when we go out there and win this thing tomorrow, it’s going to be just that much better of a story you know?”
Cameron Jolly, who could possibly be playing his last game in a Dodger uniform Saturday when he starts Game two of the Best-of-three-series at West Albany High School; too adds that winning that first game could mean the world to everybody entering a possible third-, do-or-die-game right after the second game.
“That’s everything, if we come out, play well, win the game tomorrow,” said Jolly. “It kind of shows what our team is….It’s tomorrow win the first game, it’ll set up huge for the second game.
“Most important game of the summer tomorrow.”
Sprague-Graduate Cody Vestal struck out three Mid-Valley batters in five innings pitched Friday (Picture by Jeremy McDonald)
They battled back from a 6-2 deficit to tie it at six Friday night, and as Mid-Valley pulled away for the 15-7 victory…you could sense the frustration that they were indeed better than the result showed on that scoreboard on this night.
As they met as a team following the loss, they know what tomorrow means to them as individuals, as teammates and as a team and they know they don’t want it to end.
As Eric Church puts it in The Outsiders song, ‘You’re gonna find out just who we are…Our backs to the wall.  A band of brothers, Together, alone, the outsiders’ and the confidence is there that they can win the next 18 innings, to win the next 18 ‘outs’ sort of speak, required to move on to Klamath Falls for State on Wednesday.
And doing it just one play at a time.  It’s a new day.  It’s a new nine, and these next nine are the most important of their season.
“Gotta come prepared,” states Jolly.  “You can’t be half-ready to go and then try to turn it on in the game.  We usually start off hot, we usually score in the first inning, we scored one this (game), we usually come out hot and then die off.  But if we can keep it throughout, we can definitely win this game.
“I don’t have nerves.  I’m ready to go.”
“I’m not nervous,”  adds Sorensen.  “We can beat anyone when we play our best baseball, it’s just a matter of doing what we need to do and I believe we can beat anyone in the State and I can guarantee it.”

Follow Jeremy McDonald on twitter at @J_McDonald81 or like jmcdonaldmedia on Facebook!

Photos By Jeremy McDonald


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