By Jeremy McDonald
SILVERTON, Ore.– With some familiar names like Jaret Stewart, Treve Earhart and Eric Kessler to name a few returning from the quarterfinalist Varsity squad from last season, they return to action Monday with a few new faces alongside them as they traveled to familiar territory to Silverton High School to get some live-action before their first-game of the season Thursday afternoon at home.
“It’s good for them to learn the speed of the game,” said Stewart of the younger guys who are making the move to Varsity this year. “Playing JV baseball to Varsity baseball is a whole different amount of speed, runners are faster, pitching’s faster. Players can run the bases better and they have more knowledge of the game, so I think it’s better for them to see the speed of the game.
Stewart, who had his birthday Monday, and Kessler are the number one and number two pitchers for the Dragons entering the season as Head Coach Scot McDonald used Monday’s scrimmage as an opportunity to see who will be following the senior in Stewart and the junior in Kessler.
James Van Elverdinghe, Logan Graber and Jacob Salinas saw action against South Salem and Silverton High School and McDonald was impressed with knowing that they’ll need to add depth behind Stewart and Kessler this season.
“We were able to see somethings and they did well,” said McDonald. “Today they did great, they need more experience. South Salem is going to pick to win that league (Greater Valley Conference) and so that’s a great fordable opponent. They’re going to be a Top five team or at least Top 10 in 6A and the last one ended up 2-2 in three innings so we’re ok.”
And as they go back to work Tuesday and Wednesday to prepare for their season and home opener against the Eagles of Eagle Point, the opportunity to improve is there as they use Monday’s live action against another team back into the practice setting.
“I tell these guys all the time, you want to get out there and be able to react and sometimes the speed of the game exposes that ability to react with correct mechanics so that showed some things we need to do to get into react mode,” starts McDonald.
“Each guy individually knows various little things and tomorrow the JV and Frosh both have games, so we’ll be by ourselves so we’ll have a lot of individual attention that just kind of..just some of the guys got feedback on how their performance was today and what they need to do.”
First pitch against Eagle Point is at 4pm on Thursday in Dallas.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald