By Jeremy McDonald
CORVALLIS, Ore.– Like their West Salem counterparts who were battling Clackamas Thursday afternoon on the road, South Salem were down in Corvallis taking on a similar strong baseball program in 5A’s Crescent Valley.
The well-hitting and the good pitching staff of the Raiders challenged the Saxons in Game One as well as Game two as Crescent Valley built a 6-1 lead on South Salem entering the seventh inning.
“They made us realize that we have a lot of improving to do before playoffs and this weekend is going to be very vital for us,” said Ryan Brown, who pitched two innings with three strikeouts Thursday to allowing one hit. “Other than that, they’re a really good 5A team and they probably will end up winning State and go really deep in the playoffs.
“It’s definitely going to help us pitching wise because we don’t see a lot of velocity or command in our league and there’s a lot out here in places like Lake O(swego), Westview and places like that, high up teams.”
Gavin Fredinburg continued to challenge the Raider offense, picking up three more strikeouts in his two innings pitching that followed Brown as the bats began to come around in the final inning of play.
Collin Vogt and Noah Ferguson got on base as Sean Alvardo and Aaron Zavala brought in runs with two outs on the board to get the score to 6-4 before Brown sent a hard ball in the infield that was turned into the final out of the game.
Alvarado pointed out that if they played like that throughout the game let-lone the two-game series, it’ll be a lot closer than it was. But also too, the Raiders did show how the Saxons can improve between now and Monday afternoon at home.
“I feel like that last inning if we play like that the whole game, we’ll be a very tough team to beat. Taking that last inning, say we play like that in both games, it’ll be closer than what we showed,” said Alvarado.
“Definitely intensity,” Alvardo continues on how they can improve. “Staying in the game, picking each other up when someone’s down. Saying ‘hey it’s alright, we can do this better’. Just mostly intensity and being out there and saying, ‘hey, we’re as good as we think we are’. It’s never as bad as it seems, it’s not as good as it seems.”
Photos By Jeremy McDonald