By Jeremy McDonald
ALBANY, Ore.– The first inning wasn’t kind at all for the Withnell Dodgers Tuesday evening at West Albany High School as they opened their three-game series versus the Mid-Valley Southpaws.
The Southpaws filled up the count against Gavin Fredinburg and challenged the Withnell defense with two walks, two hit by pitches, two hits and a sacrifice hit to take a 5-0 lead over the Dodgers entering the second inning.
But after the inning, Fredinburg and his defense settled down a bit as they held a good hitting ballclub in the Southpaws to three runs over the next five innings with Noah Ferguson coming in during the fourth inning as their bats began to come around to start the second inning.
“I just thought we had a little bit of trouble settling down, I felt they had a little more experience in this park than we did,” said Cameron Kallhoff on that first inning and the innings to follow. “But I think after that first inning, we played a lot better defense and we knew where we were and we knew what we were doing.”
It started with a Justin Culpeper double, Will DeLoretto and Kaiden Doten both had RBI Doubles. Kallhoff singled, Doten scored off an error and Michael Soper brought Kallhoff home with the score now 5-4 in favor of Mid-Valley.
Kaiden Doten (RBI Single) and DeLoretto (Sac-Fly RBI) tied the game up entering the bottom of the third inning at six to keep it close down the stretch with the Dodgers totaling 13 hits by game’s end against the Southpaw defense.
“I personally thought we played a lot better baseball after the first inning and I think we can bring it into tomorrow and try to get the momentum and bring the bats with us,” said Kallhoff, who went 2-for-2 with two RBIs in the game. “I think we got to know them a lot better as hitters, we saw some deep fly-balls and we know where to play them now. We have experience, we’re going to be at our own park. We know the edges of the fiels and everything and I think we’ll be able to pull a couple out tomorrow.”
Kaiden Doten and Culpepper both had three hits in the game with DeLoretto being the other Withnell batter to have at least two hits in the game Tuesday.
But, Mid-Valley held off the bats in crunch time to hang-on to take the 8-7 victory from the Dodgers with the series shifting to Salem for the doubleheader portion of the series Wednesday. First pitch is at 2pm at Willamette University with Withnell looking to end the league series over .500 with the squad sitting 3-4 in league after Tuesday’s game.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald