By Jeremy McDonald
MONMOUTH, Ore.– Gresham wasn’t afraid to shy away from the hacking at anything in the strike-zone Thursday evening and neither was Post 20 who jumped out to a 5-1 lead on Gresham following Kaden Reidhead’s base-hit to extend the lead to four runs entering the fifth inning.
“It was really nice because we’ve struggled the last couple of games with getting out bats going early. Today we got it going early, even if we hit it at people it was hard hit balls,” said Reidhead about the bats. “So the next few games are going to be good.”28
Derek Maiben scored the first run off a pass-ball, a balk allowed Peter Mendazona to score from third before Derek Maiben’s hot bat scored Post 20’s third run of the game. Mendazona hit an RBI triple that brought Blake Arritola home to make it 4-1 entering the bottom of the third prior to Reidhead’s hit.
Defensively, Braden Allison got the starting nod, and he got the job in facing the bats of Gresham as the West Salem soon-to-be-senior and his defense got themselves out of jams with double-plays and crucial defensive stops in Allison’s six inning of work on the bump.
“I just made sure I hit the zone and made my defense work. Just not give them anything good,” said Allison. “We got a great defense and they just put in their best work in and make plays.”
Coming down to the final inning, Perrydale’s Noah Amador came in once more to close out the game for the Dirtbags as Post 20 looked to end Day 2 of the Willamette Classic 2-0 in Pool Play.
But, it was all but a cake-walk however.
Amador found themselves in a bases-loaded jam with no outs on the board and the game-tying run coming to the plate. Amador took a deep breath and went to work, getting the first out through a strikeout to make a double-play a possibility to end the game on the next pitch.
“Oh it felt huge, it felt like a 45-pound weight just came off my shoulders,” smiled Amador of the first out.
Amador forced a ground-ball on the next at-bat that Mendazona scooped up and tagged the bag at third and hummed a throw to Tristen Fergus at first for the tough 6-3 double-play.
No luck, the runner beats the throw-out and a run comes in, but they did get the second out though.
Now with the game-winning run coming to the plate, Amador and his defense settled back in and got the final out of the game to cap the 5-2 victory Thursday. And with Treve Earhart returning from vacation, the Dirtbags are slowly getting into a groove with Day 3 of the tournament on the horizon.
“We just played well as a team as you see when we’re rolling double-plays, we’ve done a lot of those this season, we just play well together,” said Reidhead. “I mean we always have a few errors, but we always pick each other up and I’m pretty sure that’s going to help us going throughout. Come closer as a team more than we are now.”
Post 20 will play Roseburg at 6pm Friday at Western Oregon University.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald