By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– South Salem-Graduate Elijah Enomoto-Haole will get an opportunity this summer to take his game to a new level.
It was announced Tuesday morning that the 2019 Saxon-Grad, and current Chemeketa Community College Freshman, will be joining the Portland Gherkins in the inaugural season for the summer program.
“I’m excited to get the opportunity to play at a high level with a new group of guys. It’s going be a fun summer to play for the Gherkins,” said Enomoto-Haole. “Just working as hard as possible to hopefully get a call up to the Pickles one day. I’m beyond thankful and blessed that I have a home this summer.”
The Gherkins came into existence in 2019 as an affiliate for the Portland Pickles Wood Bat organization with the possibility of being called-up to the Pickles team down the road.
For Enomoto-Haole, he saw his freshman year with the Storm cut short 12 games into his first season with the squad. Enomoto-Haole pitched in four games with Chemeketa, throwing ten-and-two-third innings with 15 strikeouts and a save to his resume on the heels of being Mountain Valley Conference Honorable Mention as a Utility player.
The reps has helped the Storm freshman see where he is at entering this Summer’s opportunity.
“Those reps helped me see what I need to work on from mechanics, certain pitch locations in a situation, and my overall mindset. Having a killer mentality when you’re on the bump that you’re going to compete every pitch and trust the dudes on the field is going help you with the confidence that you’re going do your job and help the team get a win,” said Enomoto-Haole.
“With this virus going around and everything shut down biggest thing is to stay healthy and get your body right but also get a workout or two in every day with anything you got from body weight to core and conditioning workout, having this much free time really is helping prepare and stay hungry for when we can play ball again.”
This summer Enomoto-Haole will take the opportunity to work on his mechanics, pitch location and overall his mindset and improve as a ballplayer entering his sophomore year with the Storm.
“With the time off it opened my eyes that anything can happen in the blink of an eye, everything we love could be gone and that just made me appreciate being able to play at the college level and continue to play the game of baseball much more,” starts Enomoto-Haole. “My goals this summer are just to go out and get better as a player and a teammate, also working on the mentality, mechanics, and pitch location is just going to come with reps over the summer to make sure I’m ready to go in the spring.”