By Jeremy McDonald
MONMOUTH, Ore.– Game 2 and the first half of the third game of the Post 20 Dirtbag-Mid-Valley Southpaw doubleheader was vastly different than Game 1 from Tuesday’s single-game down in Albany.
Game 1 of the series featured offense and hits, Game two and the first four innings of Game three of the series featured defense with Mid-Valley sneaking by Post 20 3-2 in the opening game and the Dirtbags leading 1-0 entering the fifth inning as both squads look for the series win for the league standings as the afternoon drifted into the evening.
It was a good learning experience for the squad going through their first doubleheader of the season with another doubleheader Saturday during the Grant Smith Wood Bat tournament at Swede Johnson Stadium in Eugene.
“I think we learned a lot with communication and with all the new guys, just getting familiarized with everyone,” said Tristan Fergus as the squad was in just their fifth game of the year Wednesday.
During the top half of the fifth inning however, the Southpaws changed it up on Kaleb Kantola and his defense by going to more of a small-ball approach once they got runners on base with bunts and squeezes in the right spots to get on base and eventually got runs across the board.
“We just kind of feel off the table, one error led to the next and we just got to keep mentally strong,” said Fergus as Mid-Valley turned a 1-0 deficit into a 4-1 lead by the time the start of the bottom half of the inning.
Post 20 tried to regain their mental sharpness as they got to 4-3 entering the sixth and stayed within reach at 7-4 thanks to RBI hits from the Maiben brothers of Derek and Jacob, but their bats couldn’t duplicate their success from the night before as they dropped a tough third game and a hard-fought series 9-4.
“It was kind of hard, in the beginning we had them for a second but the day started to get older and we started dipping down and it was really hard for us to get back up,” said Derek Maiben. “It’s going to help us when conditions are kind of hot and we’ve been here for a long-time…it’s going to help us get use to the heat and just take it on and stuff.”
Photos By Jeremy