By Jeremy McDonald
BOISE, Idaho.– Coming out of the gate versus the Eagles of Capital High School, South Salem jumped out to a 2-0 lead versus the 5A third-place team in Idaho after RBI hits by Nick Raska and Danny Alvarado and a shutdown inning by starting pitcher Ryan Brown and his defense entering the second inning of the game.
The Eagles would cut the score in half when they capitalized on a few walks by Brown and a few errors to cut the lead to 2-1 entering the third and would take the lead entering the fifth inning when Capital took a 4-2 lead thanks in part to a three-run inning before South answered the bell in the top half of the fifth inning.
Both Aaron Zavala and Brown singled with one out before a quick sacifice hit advanced both Zavala and Brown into scoring position when freshman Alvarado stepped to the plate and belted a two-run RBI hit into the right part of the field that would tie the game.
“I wasn’t really looking for a certain pitch,” said Danny Alvarado, who had three RBIs in the game. “I was just looking for anything I could drive. I knew we were down, I knew we needed those bad and I thought, ‘I had to be the guy to do it’. I had to be a dawg right there and get it and go get it.”
Alvarado tried to push a double to a triple to set-up a possible go-ahead run, but was called out at third to end the inning.
The Saxons held the Eagles off the board as Elijah Enomoto-Haole took over at the bump from Brown as Brown moved to shortstop as they entered the seventh inning with the game knotted at four apiece.
“We kind of harp on, being pitchers, pound the zone,” said Enomoto-Haole. “Let your defense work and I trust my guys, we’re a family out here and I know that they can make plays.”
Frustrations were there as they looked to hold off Capital, who have several players committed to play at the next level, as South Salem couldn’t find any kind of consistency in their energy level Thursday evening at Capital High School.
A few costly walks and a clutch hit by the Eagles allowed Capital to walk away victorious by a score of 5-4 as the Saxons look to bounce back Friday versus two more Idaho team’s in Skyview (1pm, Mountain Time) and Eagle (6pm, Mountain Time).
“It’s frustrating but they’re a pretty good ball club, I think walking two guys and putting the winning run at second with a pretty good hitter up, it’s just really frustrating,” starts Enomoto-Haole. “I know we’ll bounce back. I think it’s come out with more energy, first inning we were very hot and ever since then we were up-and-down. I think if we keep the energy up, we’ll be fine.”
“We just got to come out with a better mindset to play. More hustle, more energy to play in the dugout and I think we’ll be fine,” adds Alvarado. “I know these guys want it more than anything, we have some dawgs on the team that are going to go out there and fight.”
Photos By Jeremy McDonald