By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– The cameras come out when the pitcher picks up the bat.
In a tied ball game, bases loaded for the Titans Baseball Club against the Stayton Bandits, future University of Hawaii pitcher Cameron Hagan came walking out of the dugout with a bat with the game on the line. Former West Salem and Chemeketa teammate Noah Juarez was crouching down with the camera rolling with a grin on his face.
Last time Hagan had a competitive hack was last summer with the Post 20 Dirtbags. Fast forward to June 27, 2020 and here was Hagan walking up to the plate looking to win the game.
“Even getting a At-Bat is pretty cool, hitting a walk-off is pretty special,” said Hagan.
Hagan went 7-3 with 58 innings pitched and 62 strikeouts in 16 games with the Storm in two years.
In front of him was Lupe Peralta. Peralta delivers a first pitch strike.
The game was tight throughout. The Bandits rallied from 3-1 down to tie the game up at three with an Aaron Nease solo homerun off of Braden Allison in the third inning. Both teams traded runs entering the seventh inning.
“It was nice getting back out there and compete. It felt good because we can compete with them, especially since we’re going to play (them) five times again this season and we’re right there with them,” said Nease, who was 2-for-3 in the doubleheader opener for Stayton.
Hagan liked the pitch Peralta threw his way, and wanted to see if he’ll throw it again. Peralta did and Hagan did a check swing-like motion through the ball and sent it just by third base.
“I saw the first one pretty good and he threw it again, I was like, ‘alright’. The swing was terrible but I got the barrel to it and it went down the line. I don’t know how it was fair to be honest,” smiled Hagan.
Noah Amador and Allison each had three strikeouts pitching to Caleb Boyles four strikeouts for Stayton. Wilson Nietzel and Blake Arritola each collected two hits and Will Ramos joined Nease with two hits for the Bandits.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald