By Jeremy McDonald
STAYTON, Ore.– The Keizer Crushers and their 12 athletes certainly made three of their four-games with Post 20 very competitive this season coming out of the series Tuesday afternoon at Stayton High School.
McNary-Grad David Allen and incoming Stayton Junior Danner Salisbury held the bats of the Dirtbags to seven runs in the opening two games of the four-game series. Post 20 decisively took Game 3 12-0 in five innings before going into a pitcher’s duel in Game 4 between Kaleb Kantola and Owen Bischoff.
“Obviously we didn’t score any runs today, so we can never win a game without scoring any runs. Defensively we also need to be better,” said Bischoff, who pointed towards errors as their kryptonite out there Tuesday.
Bischoff and Kantola traded hits, but the only run that came entering the seventh inning was a third inning RBI Double by Blake Arritola that handed the Dirtbags a 1-0 lead.
Kantola bowed out of the game after the fifth, striking out seven in five innings of work as him and Kaden Reihead each held the Keizer bats to stranding base runners during the series finale.
“We definitely need to work on situational hitting. We got guys in scoring position, a number of times these last two games and we didn’t have anyone clutch up and get that big hit,” said Bischoff, who went 1-for-3 in the game and struck out four in six innings.
Post 20 was in the same boat, coming close to adding a run when Noah Juarez was tagged out at home by Ty Covalt during one of the threats by the Dirtbags. But by the seventh inning, Post 20 timed out Bischoff starting with Braden Allison’s single.
Jacob Maiben reached base before Arritola drove both in on another double. Derek Maiben brought him home as the incoming Western Oregon University sophomore hit a two-run homerun to help turn a 1-0 Dirtbag lead into a comfortable 5-0 lead entering the bottom half of the seventh inning.
“We were on them the whole game but the balls just finally started to fall that inning. We were catching barrel the whole game and it just final fell that last inning,” said Allison.
Allison’s lone hit helped set up the top of the line-up for the push. The West Salem-graduate has been that important turn over man in Post 20’s line-up this summer as the Dirtbags polished off the three games-to-one series win over Keizer moving into the Papas Tournament at North Eugene High School.
“It’s nice because it puts us in a nice position in league now, especially for qualifying for State. That’s big,” said Allison with league series with Corvallis and Withnell left.
The Crushers are off until June 28 when they host Grants Pass for a doubleheader at Stayton High School starting at 3:30pm.
Demetre Marseille and Andrew Clinton each recorded hits for Keizer in Game four. Arritola finished with three RBI’s on 3-for-4 hitting and Derek Maiben was 2-for-3 with two RBI’s.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald