By Jeremy McDonald
MONMOUTH, Ore.– The progression of Austin Brown entering Saturday’s second game of the doubleheader has been great dating back to the Fall ball season to start his senior year at McKay High School.
“Just building up to it, preparing myself and the main goal is to come out and win the game,” said Brown as the Keizer Crushers started off the doubleheader on the road at Western Oregon University.
The Post 20 Dirtbags came out swinging in the first game, their bats erupted for 16 hits with 10 runs with Tristan Fergus leading the offensive output with three RBIs for the Dirtbags with Derek Maiben, Treve Earhart and Eric Kessler all contributing two RBIs each to go with Dallas’ Jaret Stewart’s five-strikeout, six inning performance to open the day.
Brown, who was the number two starting pitcher behind the series opening starter in McNary’s David Allen (4.2 innings, two strikeouts), had to slow down the hot bats of the Dirtbags without giving them too many opportunities with the defense behind him.
“It wasn’t really nerve-racking really, just go out there and stay calm and keep throwing. Trust myself and I know my teammates are going to make plays and then we just have to get the hits and that’s what we did,” said Brown, who had six strikeouts in the game. “I thin that first game was kind of rough, but we were able to come back in the second one and flush everything that happened, and we made the plays.”
Through the first five innings of the game, Brown held the Dirtbags to an Earhart sacrifice hit that tied it to then 1-1 before Robert Benson handed the lead back to Post 20 before they tacked on two more runs as insurance. Jacob Maiben cut the 4-1 game to 4-2 on an RBI Single that brought Jackson Holstad home from third base following Holstad’s lead-off triple.
But that would be the last run by the Dirtbags in the second game of the doubleheader as they couldn’t carry over Game one’s success to game two with game three of the series Sunday at McNary High School with the winner-takes-series game.
“We just need to come back and find a way to compete for a whole baseball game, it’s tough to compete with every pitch and be focus on every pitch and we weren’t focused zero pitches I felt like for that game,” said Post 20’s Anthony Zellner, who caught, played third and pitched Saturday. “So to come back tomorrow and focus on the little things right and just do what we can to compete on the baseball field. That’s all we got to do, if we do those little things then we’ll come out and play great baseball and that’s all we’re missing right now.
“We just got to stay with the little things and play baseball the right way.”
First pitch is at 5pm at McNary High School.