By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– It’s just the first-game of the season but dang, 23 runs on 23 hits is one heck of a start to the season for the South Salem baseball team.
The Saxons, led by Nick Raska on the bump to start, held Sheldon to zero runs in the top half of the first inning as the senior only allowed three hits all game to zero runs total in three-and-two-third innings of work.
“I came in from the bull-pin and I gave everybody a high-five and they all looked at me and said, ‘we got your back today’ and that’s when I knew we were going to have a good game,” said Raska who struck out four in the game. “We put the pedal down on them right after the first three outs and we came out to hit and we put it on them and then we didn’t take it off until the last inning.”
And the bats were something else as well as South scored 10 runs in the first inning, eight in the second and five more in the third before the Irish scored once in the fifth inning to avoid the shutout but not to continue the game beyond the fifth inning due to the 10-run rule.
“That’s more of a thing where the offseason, it’s a family atomsphere here so we hold each other accountable for going to the hitting in the offseason and really improving,” said Brown who shot a two-run home-run as the junior brought home five RBIs in the 23-1 win. “Last year in our first game we didn’t do so well so this year we came back and bond as a team and hit the ball pretty well and that really means a lot to me as a culture standpoint.”
With the quick turnaround Thursday to face Tigard, the question becomes how can they carried some form of similarity with their defense and their offense against the Tigers?
“Just get the foot down and keep it down,” said Raska. “Field the ball and just stay within ourselves.”
“I think it’s going to be hard to duplicate what we had today, but we just got to come tomorrow with a lot of energy and we just got to be focused the whole time,” adds Brown. “Pitchers got to be on point and the bats will come for us. I think that’s going to be one of the things that’ll come to us this year, we just got to play defense and we’ll win games.”
First pitch is slated for 5pm at Glimore City Park.