By Jeremy McDonald
EUGENE, Ore.– Post 20 came out a tad flatter than they wanted for Day 3 of the Papa’s Tournament when they took on Valliuve of Idaho at Swede Johnson Stadium at North Eugene High School Friday.
Errors and hits allowed the Silver Wolves to take a 3-0 lead entering the bottom of the fifth inning. The offensive approach was off-pace from the past two days where they produced runs in the double-figures against opponents and took advantage of what their opposition were giving them leading into Friday’s match-up.
“It was a great wake-up call because we haven’t been playing the best teams so it is good to realize that it is big to come-out and get those early runs and come up on teams,” said Blake Arritola.
In the bottom half of the fifth inning, the Dirtbag bats arrived as they tied it off of RBI double by twin brothers Derek and Jacob Maiben before a sacrifice fly turned RBI by Arritola.
But double plays on both sides hurt in the next inning but Valliuve would build a two-run lead on Post 20 entering the bottom of the seventh inning to get the Dirtbags on the ropes.
The Dirtbags though, proved why they have strung a few wins together, and without two important players in Eric Kessler and Treve Earhart they started to do the same thing.
Noah Amador started the inning with a single that was followed by a single by Braden Allison before Arritola sent a hard shot at the first baseman to load up the bases with no outs.
Peter Mendazona came to the plate and sent a shot to center field and it fell to the grass as the center fielder couldn’t get a glove on the ball.
“I was obviously frustrated, I had three bad at-bats before that. I saw the first fastball down in a good spot and I just wanted to see the fast ball, I wanted to see a middle-away fastball so he threw me another one so I got the pitch and I hit it hard,” said Mendazona on the pitch.
Amador came home, Allison rounded third as Arritola was nipping on his heels with the pitch come in from the outfield on the rely. Allison slides, safe. The ball comes in as Arritola was sliding in inches behind Allison for the game-winning run.
“I was yelling at him to get going because I knew I wanted to score on that and win the game right there,” said Arritola on being on Allison’s heels. “So I was definitely on him to get in right after him.”
And as they celebrated the hit, they know that this game too was a good learning experience on not over-looking a team on any given time.
“We didn’t play and that was dumb on our part come to the game, we can’t overlook a team. I think it was a good learning experience that we don’t need to give up,” said Mendazona. “If we’re down, even in the last inning we can still make a rally, we can’t give up. So we didn’t give up and that was good.”
Post 20 will be back at it Saturday with a two-game doubleheader at Swede Johnson starting at 2pm and with the second game at 5pm.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald