By Jeremy McDonald
BOISE, Idaho.– Defense seemed to be the vocal point for South Salem Friday versus Twin Falls and Capital for the first 11 innings of the Saxons doubleheader.
Noah Ferguson led the defensive charge with 10 strikeouts in South Salem’s 3-0 win against the Bruins that built some momentum for their game versus the Eagles in a complete game effort.
Through the first two games, the Saxons only had burned through three arms in their staff, a good sign nonetheless, while their defense provided an insight of what they’re able to do moving forward.
“We scored a couple of runs against a really good pitcher, so going through that is something to continuedly keep in mind,” said Ferguson of the first game. “I definitely felt good today and it really helped our pitching out. It really helps our pitching staff because we’re not burning through guys. We have two games left and the majority of our pitching staff to go after these next two teams.”
“It was the biggest part of the game. Defense will win you games, offense sells tickets. I feel like as a team defensively we’re solid right now and if we keep this rolling, it’s no telling what we’re able to do,” adds Danny Alvarado, who hit two homeruns Friday.
The defensive effort carried over to their nightcap game against that one team they’ve wanted revenge against from the last two seasons: Capital.
And as they looked like they were beginning to pull away in the top half of the fifth inning handed what seemed to be another big win for the Saxons leading 8-0, it seemed as if their long awaited win over the Eagles was finally coming their way.
But it seemed as if everything that could go wrong, went wrong in the bottom half of the inning.
Errors and timely hits by Capital allowed the Eagles to load the bases with one out and now down 8-3, but back-to-back strikeouts by Brown ended the threat. South Salem however, had to hang on to their lead however as they weren’t out of the wood just yet.
The Saxons quickly got three runs back that featured a two-run homerun by Ferguson. The Eagles got two back and two more in the bottom of the seventh, but Elijah Haole-Enomoto and South Salem would shut the door on the 11-7 win Thursday night to improve to 3-0 on their Boise Trip.
“The first half of the game was us wanting to come out and beat Capital. We’ve never beaten Capital, both years I’ve been here. We were ten-run by them my sophomore year and walked-off by them last year, so we all had a fire in our stomachs to come out and beat them,” said Brown, who struck out 10 in five innings. “And I think the second half of the game was more-or-less us being tired and us being complacent and playing the scoreboard instead of us coming out here and play baseball.
The Capital game, like much of the trip, has served as an eye-opening experience as they try to come together as a team as their Spring Break trip comes to a close Saturday morning at Boise High School at 10:30am before returning to Oregon soon after. A good stepping stone as they return to play Grant on Tuesday afternoon.
“This whole trip, not even the Capital game, this whole trip has been an eye-opener for us. We’ve been struggling offensively for the last two weeks. We’ve been bickering at each other the last two weeks and coming here and becoming more of a family atmosphere and us being able to figure out hitting the ball…we’ve played against every team’s ace and we’ve played really well against each of them. So it’s been an phenomenal opportunity and we’ve been taking advantage of it,” said Brown.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald