By Jeremy McDonald
MONMOUTH, Ore.– Post 20 built a 5-1 lead entering the fifth inning with seven hits and taking advantage of four North Willamette Valley errors that put momentum in favor of the Dirtbags.
“Oh it’s nice, it’s nice when you can build on their mistakes, but we need to work on hitting balls solid on contact and piece them together,” said Post 20’s Treve Earhart, who laid down a bunt to start the bottom of the fourth inning as three of the Huskies errors came in that inning to set up the three runs.
“We just need to do a better job just keeping our heads up and forgetting about it and moving on and worry about the next pitch,” said North Willamette Valley starting pitcher Brady Hansen. “I think today was good for us because it’s going to help us moving forward. We’re going to learn from it and become better leaders and help each other out more.”
In the top half of the fifth inning, the Huskies took advantage of Kaden Reidhead’s pitches on the mound as Grant Henry (RBI single) and a throwing error allowed Hanson to go back out onto the mound with some relief knowing their one good inning away from making some noise.
Reidhead was Post 20’s second pitcher of four in the game when the inning ended and the exposure to guys like a Kaleb Reid (Williamina) or Reidhead (West Salem) will help North Willamette Valley as they prepare for Post 1 Wednesday at home, Beaverton Post 124 Thursday and Postland Eastside Cutters Friday on the road even though it threw them for a loop.
“It’s great because we won’t have any excuse later in the season that we haven’t seen a guy like this,” said the Huskies Griffin Henry. “I mean, seeing four different guys helps a lot, it helps us prepare for anything.”
The Dirtbags got the two runs back in the bottom half of the inning and almost three but Reidhead was called out at home that Post 20 Head Coach Scot McDonald argued that there was obstruction at third to no avail.
Hansen got a lead-off double against Perrydale’s Noah Amador, but Amador answered with two straight strikeouts and a fly-out kept North Willamette Valley off the board entering the sixth.
The Huskies Avery Coulombe came in for relief for Hansen in the bottom of the sixth, surrendered one hit but struck out one and returned the favor with the Dirtbags sending out Braden Allison (West Salem) for the top half of the seventh inning.
Allison forced Nic Iliyn to ground out and struck out Ryan Olson before Grant Henry hit a double. Issac Hansen got on base through a throwing error and Grant Henry scored. Griffin Henry drove in Hansen to make it a 7-5 ball game with Griff Henry on second base with two outs. But Allison got the final out by forcing Brady Hansen to ground out to Derek Maiben to end the game.
For Post 20, who will travel to Liberty High School Tuesday (6pm) before hosting Clackamas Wednesday (5pm), seeing their four pitchers striking out six batters and giving their offense an opportunity to do what they do best with 12 hits with their seven runs as they look to improve defensively moving forward.
“I think we did pretty good especially for the four pitchers because that’ usually hard having four pitchers in a game, but I think we really helped,” said the Dirtbags Reid, who pitched three innings with two strikeouts. “I think I did a good job at that, just trying to pound the strikezone and let the defense work behind me and being able to get that confidence up for the offense.”
“Defensively we did pretty good, we had two errors which doesn’t seem a lot but it’s a lot in the game of baseball and that’s normally like us,” adds Earhart. “We’ll clean that up and we’ll be fine.”
Photos By Jeremy McDonald