South Medford Chips Away West Salem’s Late Lead In Win

By Jeremy McDonald

SCIO, Ore.–  It looked as if West Salem baseball had finally drew just enough blood to separate themselves from South Medford Saturday afternoon on the Scio High Shool Turf field.

It was a sumple two-run single, but in a game in which it was tied until  that bottom half of the innine off a Jackson Gatchet sac-hit leading up to Lucas Stanfield’s two-run run single that gave the Titans the 5-2 lead entering the sixth inning.

For a team that’s going through it’s growing pains after graduating 10 seniors from 2018’s 6A State Semi-Final team and coming off of a tough 3-3 tie with Central Catholic at home Friday, the two-out single was just as important for their young mindset to go stay calm through tight games like they were in Friday and Saturday.

“Yeah it was good I just made sure I stayed balanced and do my best with two outs,” said Stanfield.  “It was tough seeing them chip away but I thought we did a good job staying composed though.  Keeping even keeled energy, I felt like we did a good job overall.”

Stanfield, Braden Allison and Noah Juarez are some of the names returning from last years squad to help guide the squad in 2019.

Noah Juarez taking a high-and-away pitch for a ball during Saturday’s game to South Medford .  Juarez mentioned how the West Salem offense is an area to work on moving forward (Picture by Jeremy McDonald)

South Medford began to chip away at the lead against the relief pitching of the Titans, eventually tying it up in the seventh at five a piece before taking the lead for good in the top half of the eighth inning 7-5 in the Panthers 7-5 win that handed West their first loss of the season to close out the first week of the season.

And as they heal up over the weekend for their Tuesday game versus Roseburg at home, Juarez likes the direction that this team is going entering Week 2 of the season after embracing the challenge of facing two playoff teams.  He was open in that they’re embracing the chip on their shoulder knowing that people are writing them off for what they have lost talent-wise on the field.

With a tough Bend program joining the league this year along with the returning talent at South Salem, Juarez was open in that they need to work on their bats and offense more to alleviate the pressure off of their defense moving forward for the remainder of the preseason.

“We got to get the bats going more.  Get more time in the cages, more time on the field and more (batting practice), that’s something that we need to work on that’s it,” said Juarez.  “I think our fielding, we’re looking good, we can always get better but I think hitting is where we need to work on and get better.”

First pitch is at 5pm Tuesday at home.

Photos By Jeremy McDonald

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