By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.—West Salem’s Braden Allison found and lived in his zone in the Titans doubleheader opener versus Summit in the opener’s 3-0 win over the Storm behind a two-hit, seven strikeout performance on the bump.
Being the Titans number-two pitcher behind Lucas Stanfield, the Senior Allison commanded the hill with a one-hitter going through five-and-two-thirds while picking up all seven of his strikeouts in the process.
And as he ripped a two-RBI single along the Right Field line that handed West Salem their final result as a cushion in the bottom half of the fourth inning, Friday’s win was like a heel-turn when they needed one with one last Mountain Valley Conference league game left in front of them.
“We didn’t have the hitting game that we wanted, but every hit mattered which is big. We came up with a couple good plays at the end of the game that was an exclamation point for the win,” said Allison, who pitched six innings.
Noah Juarez led the way in the middle infield with two crucial plays late in the opener to keep Summit away from making it more of a game. Something they’ve worked to improve upon as they close out MVC-play Tuesday versus South Salem.
“Yeah we did really good, we’ve done a lot better than we have. We’ve been working on the little things and in this game, it really showed up,” said Kaiden Reidhead, who drove in the first run of the game. “We were getting balls that were getting hit up the middle. Bad hops we were playing them, we were sitting back. Everyone was doing their job and it worked out really well.”
It came down to some crucial stops and plays when they needed them in the second game in their 7-5 sweeping clincher win soon after.
Sophomore Kyle Kronenberg started and helped continue the defensive struanglehold on the Storm bats with West Salem leading 3-0 after four innings. Crosby Albee hit a solo homerun in the process in the second inning.
But Summit used two homers themselves to rally back to take a 5-4 lead before the Titans regained the lead in the sixth with a Jackson Gatchet two-RBI hit. Juarez iced the win when he was hit by a pitch in a bases loaded jam to give the Titans breathing room as they completed the sweep.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald