By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– At 1-5 in the NWAC South Region standings and on the wrong side of a 4-9 stretch after their 11-1-1 start to the season, Chemeketa baseball needed to pick up some crucial league wins to keep up with the teams in front of them.
The Storm rolled in Game 1 10-0 before taking Game 2 5-3. Sprague’s Andrew Ishii went 6-for-8 with five RBIs while McKay’s Austin Brown and Chruchill’s Kyle Lund each had six strikeouts on the mound to hand Chemeketa back-to-back wins since March 17 against Treasure Valley.
The Storm rallied back to take Game 3, their first series win since that four-game Treasure Valley series nearly a month ago and the bats of Chemeketa, and Game 4 to close out the series looked like the opening game that started it:
The bats rolled out seven runs while West Salem’s Cameron Hagan set the pace on the mound, holding the Cougars with without a run until the fourth inning when a Tyler Jewett single broke the shutout and later scored on a wild pitch to make it a 7-2 game.
“Our defense and our offense were doing very well. We played great overall and it was a great four-games of baseball this weekend, I’m really happy about that,” said Hagan, who pitched a complete game with four strikeouts in the 8-3 win.
Tristan Fergus, a Dayton graduate, added some more cushion with a RBI hit to make it 8-2 in the sixth before Jewett hit a solo shot in the seventh for the final result. It was the second home run of the game after Keegan Huey-Woods solo shot in the third inning during the seven-run rally to help Chemeketa for their second four-game sweep of the year.
It was their first of the league schedule. Huey-Woods mentioned that they’re a offensive-minded team, and that it showed there in the final game as he considers this game to possibly be their turning point in the season.
“We come out every game expecting to hit, so I think all of our hitting, all of our work that we’ve put in in our hitting and our approach showed in that last game,” said Huey-Woods, who pitched two innings in the third game of the series Sunday morning.
“I think this (series) could have determined where our season went on. We took it and ran with it; this is a great kickstart towards the right track.
The Storm will finish up their four-game series with Lane on Wednesday at Lane Community College, Chemeketa dropped the first two games 5-4 and 1-0 respectively. Game 3 of the series is at 1:30pm with Game 4 following afterwards.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald