By Jeremy McDonald
KEIZER, Ore.—Following a freshman season at Pacific University that saw him work his way up from the Junior Varsity squad to getting his first Varsity start in 2018, Josiah Gilbert has been spotted sporting a Keizer Crusher uniform off-and-on this summer. Wednesday was one of those games that Gilbert made an appearance.
His mechanics were new compare to last summer as he changed up his pitching mechanics this past year with the Boxers with it being a little faster in his delivery and against the NW Stars, Gilbert held the Stars to without a hit until the fifth inning as the McNary-grad pounded the zone on a regular basis.
“It was awesome, I came out and my goal was just to come in and use everything I’ve had. Get use to it and keep it in the zone, throw a lot of strikes.,” said Gilbert, who struck out 12 in six innings after appearing in nine Varsity games with 15 strikeouts in a relief pitcher-role for Pacific University. “A couple of times I’ve lost my mechanics , a threw a couple of balls in a row and that’s when I got in trouble but other than that it felt great. It felt great, looked great.
“It’s priceless, coming out here and getting an opportunity,” Gilbert continues on being able to work through his stuff. “Coach (Drew) Heard getting a hold of me wanting me to come out and throw today, it gives me practice and let’s me move on with my career. It’s nice to see such success to come out and throw in the summer, come out and throw a shutout couple of innings and give it up to the next guy.”
As Gilbert, who played in the game alongside some former Celtic teammates like Ty Covalt, Jacob Jackson and Josh Benson, handed the reigns to another McNary ballplayer in Robert Benson. Rob Benson threw two innings with two strikeouts in relief in the nine-inning game with the bats rolling to seven hits with six of their eight runs coming in the bottom of the sixth inning to give Keizer a 8-0 lead after leading 2-0 for much of the contest at McNary High School.
Gilbert drove in two runs on 1-for-2 hitting. Owen Bischoff adding two more RBIs on 1-for-3 hitting with Kenndy’s Jack Suing having the lone multi-hit game on the day with two hits with the two team’s meeting up once again Thursday at Lakeridge High School as they hope to carry this momentum into that game on the road.
“I think we did pretty good defensively, I don’t think we got any big errors that cost us anything. At the plate we did pretty good timely, I felt like we could’ve done better throughout the whole game,” said soon-to-be-senior Jesse Sendlinger, who went one-for-two with an RBI. “I felt like they were zeros that could have been runs. We’ve had people left on base that could’ve been brought in, but I think we hit pretty timely. When people got on base, we got them in when we needed too.”
First pitch is at 7pm in Lake Oswego.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald