By Jeremy McDonald
NAMPA, Idaho.— After Capital defeated South Salem 5-4 in walk-off fashion to start the Buck’s Invite Tourney in the Greater Boise Area Thursday evening in Boise, the Saxons took that fire and answered back with wins over Skyview in Nampa Friday afternoon and Eagle in Eagle Friday night as they returned to Nampa for their Tourney finale versus Bishop Kelly.
“We came together as a family and that first game didn’t go as well as we wanted too,” said Ryan Brown on how that first game dictated the rest of the tourney. “We played good baseball and we came into the second game (versus Skyview) and wanted to absolute murder everybody after we got walked-off on. Nobody wants to get walked off and so we took the fire from there and took it into the second game. The second to the third and the fourth we were all tired, sore and dead.”
After getting done with their game versus the Mustangs in Eagle, Idaho at about 9:30pm Friday night, South Salem had to essentially turn-and-burn for their 10:30am game back at Skyview High School in Nampa to take on Bishop Kelly.
The legs were tired after scoring 18 runs to permitting three in two games to go with their bag-stealing that has already toppled 20 entering their sixth game this season after Friday as Aaron Zavala took to the bump to pick up where Sean Alvarado, Noah Ferguson, Nick Raska and Gavin Fredinburg started pitching.
Zavala had a one-hitter going entering the fifth inning as they got their legs under them for one last game as the offense built a 6-0 lead on the Knights.
“It’s just the grind,” described Sean Alvarado on revving up for one last game in the four-game series. “Just waking up everyday, I think just having practices everyday since two weeks ago before we came here really helped. Everyone was dead-beat tired, but once we flip that switch and we’re just ready to play and the rest is history after that.”
This little Spring Break run, like with other teams in the Greater Valley Conference like West Salem, West Albany and McNary, will definitely help for those grind weeks going forward where they’re playing three games a week and that first week in May where the Saxons play four in five days.
“Getting through it is going to be helping a lot because now we know we’re able to play back-to-back games yesterday and then come early in the morning and playing this game and having that day’s rest through the week of playing is going to be easy now,” said Alvarado on it.
Bishop Kelly would break Zavala’s one-hit bid in the fifth with them breaking the shutout in the frame, but Zavala answered back with a three-run home-run to make it 10-1 entering the sixth as the senior went 4-for-4 with four RBIs in a six inning, 11-1 win Saturday morning.
“I definitely feel like we came out strogner in each game and we minimized errors as we went along and it just showed towards the end of the tournament that we’re able to close out in a ten-run,” said Greyson Hanowell, who went 1-for-2 with a RBI in the win. Hanowell’s lone hit was one of three double’s for the Saxons Saturday as they now prepare for West Albany on Tuesday.
“Just stay within ourselves, don’t look at other people like, ‘oh wow’ and get distracting,” “Just staying within ourselves and focusing on what we do well and what we get to work on and I think we’ll be pretty competitive with them,” Hanowell adds on how they can carry this momentum and improve. “Definitely the small things, just minimizing…knowing where we are going ahead of time is what we’re good at and keeping that up we’ll be spot on.”
Brown, who took a nasty ball to the face against Skyview when the Hawks catcher’s throw went off the hand funny and hit Brown in the face while he was in the batter’s box during his at-bat, said that his jaw is ok today after the swelling went down a bit.
“My chin is alright, I just have some baseball laces on it but my jaw is alright now,” smiled and grinned Brown who almost matched Zavala’s homerun with a near-solo shot of his own in the bottom of the fifth inning that resulted in a deep double.
The Saxons will be on the road Tuesday at West Albany to face the Bulldogs at 5pm to start Greater Valley Conference play.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald