By Jeremy McDonald
KLAMATH FALLS, Ore.– It’s been a cool minute since the last time that Dallas Post 20 took to the field to play.
But, after 12 days after their 12-4 regular season loss to rivial Withnell, the Dirtbags were back on the diamond to open the 2017 Triple-A State Playoffs Wednesday against Willamette Valley of Springfield.
As they were getting ready to go, a familiar face within the team gave themselves a pep talk before the start of the game:
“You know, it’s really important because energy is everything and if you can get that first couple of runs,” said Wittman. “Just basically step up and keep scoring runs and get after ti like it’s your last play, last at-bat and focus on every single pitch, every single catch, every single At-Bat.
“That’s what we came out and did today and so it was really fun.”
For guys like Wittman and Hunter Johnson, this postseason is their last in a Post 20 uniform and the goal is the same:
To do whatever they can to win the State Championship.
“It’s awesome, it’s a great feeling because all of the younger guys realize that they are playing for us too,” said Wittman. “We’re playing as a team, we’re playing for them, we’re playing each other. This is our last chance like for me and Hunter and some of the upperclassmen seniors, to win State Championship because once your in college, it’s more about National Championships and league championships, so basically it’s their last chance.
“We want to leave it all out there for our team.”
They took one step closer to that goal Wednesday behind 22 hits, two of which were home-runs, just dictated the momentum from the opening inning of the game to their final out in the seventh inning of their 17-3 victory over the Titans.
“Oh it’s awesome, that’s exactly what we needed in a tournament like this,” said Jackson Holstad, the Central High School-Grad went 3-5 with 4 RBIs with a three-run home-run in the win Wednesday. “To come out and put up a two-spot in the first inning, I mean that’s awesome. We got two on right off the bat in the first inning and that’s what we need.
“It’s a game of momentum in tournaments like this so it really helped.”
That defense that Holstad calls one of the States best, showed his case of why he and the rest of the team believes in; and the 11 or so hits showed on the board weren’t nothing more than shaking off the dust with a tougher opponent in the Portland Barbers Thursday at 4pm.
And the belief is still there for a Portland team that beat Eugene in the first day 7-3 as the winner faces the winner of Medford Mustang game Friday.
“I think honestly is staying focused every single pitch,” said Holstad.”You know a lot of guys take a few pitches off and I mean that’s apart of baseball, we really got to work on staying focused on every single pitch, every single at-bat, every single pitch in the field.”
As they go back to the parking lot with the storm clouds building to the east towards Bonanza due to the daytime heat, Dallas Post 20’s plan is to continue the heat of their bats, the storm that they brought Day 1 into the second Day of the State Tournament.
“Just come to the ballpark with the same energy like we did today,” said Holstad. “We all came here, Brody came down the line and we were all pumped up and he was like, giving us a little ra-ra speech. We were ready to go.
“So if we come out with the same intent and focus like we did today, then we’ll be fine.”
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Photos By Jeremy McDonald