By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– It wasn’t the prettiest of outing for the Central Baseball Club last Tuesday when they kicked off the Willamette Valley Men’s Baseball League High School Division-League against the Valley Squad at Holland Park. The meeting resulted in a 13-3 defeat to the Valley team that evening.
Fast forward to Wednesday’s match-up between the two squads and the Boys in Red took advantage of a tough start by West Albany’s Simon Mathios for a 5-2 lead entering the third inning. Showing the improvement they’ve made in the week, even limiting the bats of Valley to three runs over the third and fourth innings as they were in the game tied at five entering the fifth inning.
“In our first game it was a good way to find out how we can improve upon. Everyday we’re getting better in progression. Coaching, we’re listing now,” said Central’s Colton Farr, who went 3-for-4 with 2RBI’s in the game. “We’re making plays now; we want to play ball and have fun.”
Mathios admitted, as he took over for Jacob Winstead in the second inning, that his troubles has been that first inning as he settled in. Over the course of the next four innings, five in total, the soon-to-be-Bulldog Senior collected nine strikeouts and had only allowed one run after the second inning.
“I’ve always struggled with the first inning on the mound. I don’t know why, knocking the rust off or something,” said Mathios. “But it felt really good kicking it in gear and get going and find the zone.”
Stayton’s Danner Salisbury led the offensive charge with his 3RBI day at the plate, his two hits was one of five Valley Baseball Club batters to have a two-hit day. Salem Academy’s Brandon Reed was the lone Valley batter to drive more than one run in with his 2RBI day as the squad built a 10-6 lead into the seventh.
Scoring eight of the games next nine runs after falling behind early.
“That felt really good. We got the bats rolling, we made some solid contact and chipped away. It felt good getting the win,” said Mathios, who went 1-for-2 at the plate.
Kyle Holt went 2-for-3 with an RBI for the Central Baseball Club, John Rodriguez and Mathew Peyton each drove in a run apiece.
The trick now for Central is to keeping the intensity up throughout the game. In their doubleheader Saturday and Wednesday, they were right there with the Olympian Baseball Club (Sprague) and against Valley twice; but a hiccup here or there ultimately were the deciding factors of the game.
“Just keeping the intensity throughout. We’re dying down halfway through but, just making those routine plays and knocking them down. Swinging the bat, going in and getting it close. Playing regular baseball,” said Farr.
Valley will be off until July 7 when they play the Olys at 5pm at Holland Park. Central is back at Holland Park July 8 when they play host to the Stayton Bandits at 5pm.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald