By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– South Salem’s Noah Ferguson found himself three outs from his fourth straight complete game Wednesday afternoon.
It was finally a nice day in Salem, but neither team could land that decisive blow on the other. Four runs were scored in total. South led 3-1 over the Celtics as Ferguson walked Noah Bach before striking out the next batter in the Saxons win by the same result.
“It was definitely a little nerve racking, but we’ve been in situations like this before so we know how to stay cool under pressure,” said Ferguson. “And that’s what we started doing better this year is just getting key hits in key situations. That way we can come out on top at the end.”
McNary’s David Allen, who added a complete game to his High School resume his Senior Year in the Celtics back-to-back game after losing a tough game to West Salem Tuesday, credits his defense behind him.
He points to Jacob Jackson’s plays at shortstop. Devon BeDoya’s completing plays at first base and the outfield that limited what could’ve been extra base hits into routine small-ball plays. Something they’ll need to do again Thursday when South Salem comes to Keizer in what Allen calls a pitcher’s friendly park at McNary.
“We have a pitcher friendly park,” said Allen, who struck out four in the loss. “We Devon up pitching and he does throw a lot of strikes so I think we’re going to see a lot of balls in the air, balls on the ground. We should be making plays that we need to be making, so I think it’s going to be really good tomorrow.”
Allen and the Celts held the Saxons to six hits in the game, two coming from Sean Alvarado.
But the difference came way of clutch hitting by South Salem as Ferguson picked up his second strikeout of the game before surrendering his fifth hit of the game, were a Kaiden Doten sacrifice fly and an Elijah Enomoto-Haole solo Homerun that turned a 1-1 tie into a 3-1 lead.
“It was just good to get that first hit out of the way with a dinger. Honestly with us being a good hitting team and I think we’re on a roll right now and I think when we face that adversity, we’re at our best,” said Enomoto-Haole.
Certainly it was tough to see South’s clutch hits pay-off as they got Bach and Robert Benson with two outs and an opportunity to possibly tie the game, but it’s certainly a good sign entering their fourth game of the league season.
“It was hard to see, but at the same time it was nice to see that we’re getting two guys on, three guys on with two outs or one out. At least we’re putting up a fight on there because I know we’re going to get breakaway hits and those walks or those little hits with two outs will start turning into runs,” said Allen.
Ferguson would end the game with his third strikeout of the game and third of the inning as he let out a loud ‘hoot’ as the Senior pitcher approached the pitch count max with his 104 pitches for his fourth straight complete game. It was good too in the long haul with two more games this week for them to conserve arms for McNary and
“It’s definitely good, we get to save arms for later in the week. I didn’t have my best today, but these guys back here they got me today so that’s definitely really helpful,” Ferguson said of his defense Wednesday.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald