By Jeremy McDonald
AURORA, Ore.– Their defense met the challenge of Beaverton’s bats head on as Griffin Henry and Ryan Olson set the pace early on the bump. Beaverton got their hits as did North Willamette Valley, but that was about it as the contest entered extra innings.
NWV had their chances to increase their lead in the sixth, then up 3-2, and win it in regulation but no luck as they came up short in both innings with Beaverton tying it in the seventh.
“There a good ball club and it was a good game, we did a good job defending it. Pitchers did a good job filling it up, throwing a lot of strikes and we just put it together at the end and came out with the win,” said Brady Hansen. “We were close the last three innings to putting runs up and we should have.
“Guys started to get a little frustrated and before the bottom of the eighth inning there the coaches got us together in the dugout and kind of got our heads right and we let it go and decided to move on and focus on one-pitch at a time.”
Following the old mantra that they followed since the Spring when this program went deep into the 4A playoffs of Joe High School. Doesn’t matter who’s in front of them, just focusing on the next pitch and that’s what they did as Griffin Henry and Hansen fist pumped before Henry’s at-bat to start the eighth inning.
Henry couldn’t get on base before Hansen’s at-bat, but Hansen singled with Sergio Jimenez coming to the plate.
Jimenez grounded safe on a Fielder’s Choice before Noah Wierstra had a Sacrifice Hit to advance Hansen and Jimenez from first and second to second and third with Hunter Wierstra coming to the batter’s box.
With two outs on the board, Hunter Wierstra took strike one before sending a dribbler to second base with Hansen storming home.
“I was just thinking that, ‘I got to make it down there and hopefully that it goes through and get the last run’,” said Wierstra as he ran down the baseline. “I feel like if we keep playing these good clubs and it’ll get us more prepared to play them again and will get us more prepared for the normal season too.”
“I was just running as hard as I could to the plate and I knew it was going to be close and I was hoping that Hunter would make it down there and he did, it was pretty exciting,” said Hansen as he got home as Wierstra was getting to first base.
Wierstra was called safe as Hansen was peeling up field from tagging home as the dugout flooded out to first where Hunter Wierstra was at to celebrate the 4-3 eighth inning victory.
“That felt awesome, that was a nice win,” smiled Wierstra as they turned to clean up Bob Brack Stadium for the evening.
With a few days to recover before taking on the Post 20 Dirtbags again this time at Western Oregon University Monday, the squad will hope to carry this momentum to that game in Monmouth.
“We’re just going to come out and we’re just going to work hard and our pitchers are going to fill it up and throw a lot of strikes and we’re going to play the game hard,” said Hansen.
Hansen went two-for-four in the game, Hunter Wierstra’s lone hit came on that game winner. Grant Henry went three-for-four, Nic Iliyn was two-for-three. Griffin Henry drove in two RBIs to go with his six strikeouts in four-and-two-thirds pitching.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald