By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– Bats. They are sick. Not anymore Jobu.
The bats were indeed sick entering their second doubleheader game against the Ole Athletics Saturday, but as they looked to the Voodoo Emperor in Jobu to cure their bat illness, the bats arrived Saturday in their 9-6 win to close out their doubleheader. Producing eight hits with their nine runs.
It seemed as if the one-game offering wore it’s welcome the first two innings however against Central Wednesday evening at Holland Youth Park. It took until the third inning for the third for the sore bats to loosen up for the Bandits from Stayton.
“The first two innings I feel like it was going to be a battle,” said Stayton’s Colton Gumc. “And then after. We start off the three and four (innings), it just felt like…playing ball now.”
Central hung a crooked three-run inning in the bottom half of the first as Wyatt Bateman tamed the bats of the Bandits, strucking out five in his two-and-a-third innings of work. But it was that third inning for the Panthers in which the tides of baseball had turned against them in what was then a 4-3 Central lead at the start of the third inning.
“At the start of the game I thought we did great, but then it turned into errors and everything just unfolded from there,” said Bateman. “We’re going to come back to practice and we’re just going to come back, work hard and come out and show up on Saturday.”
Over the next two innings Stayton scored 12 runs on six hits, drew three walks and forced two errors to rally out to a 15-5 lead into the fifth inning. Ricky Taylor drove in Ruben Cedillo on an RBI double in the bottom of the third inning.
The Bandits added a run in the fifth inning as Joe Alley grounded into a Fielder’s Choice, scoring Jared Mitchell from third with Stayton taking the game winning 16-5 in five innings.
Four days after their nine-run on eight-hit day, the Bandits also added ten hits for their second victory in a row. With Saturday on the horizon, they can hope that the hats on their bats can keep their bats warm for a twin-bill against the Olympian Baseball Club from Sprague at 3pm and 6pm.
“Hopefully we can bring the same energy and ride it into the next one. It’ll be a battle,” said Gumc.
Gumc finished hitting 2-for-4 with 4RBI’s, a game-high. Grayson Reeder and Tanner Manning each collected two hits for Stayton, Reeder driving in two runs and Manning one.
Colton Farr drove in 2RBI’s on 1-for-3 hitting with Central finishing with six hits in the game. Kyle Holt hit a lead-off home run in the bottom of the first for the Panthers Wednesday.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald