By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– McNary’s Eben Mayer has been on a rail in his last two starts for the Blue team coming out of Monday’s 1-0 win over the Green Team.
Last Monday, the Celtic incoming Junior dueled Scio’s Toby Mask with the Blue squad edging the Green team 4-3 off a Blake Richardson game-winning hit.
Monday was no different back at Holland Youth Park as Mayer took to the bump against Sprague’s Dom Krummen. It was yet another defensive battle coming down the stretch for the two squads.
“Oh it’s fun. High energy, everyone’s on their feet cheering. It’s really fun,” said Loggers Kolton Ellis. “I think we did a really good job competing. Not fielding a lot of errors, taking advantage of the (balls) we did get and not letting a lot get through. Making it a low-scoring game.”
Krummen went the distance, letting his defense like Ellis make the plays needed to keep the score-grid luck late into the game. Striking out two in the process for the Green squad.
For Mayer, coming in after his six-inning and eight-strikeout performance in his previous start last Monday, went the distance and struck out 12 batters. He came in with a plan to pain the corners, and for much of the game he did.
Mayer got out of two jams where the Green squad had runners in scoring position. One such instance came in the top of the seventh where he has runners on second and third with no out and had fanned the next three batters to get out of the situation with the score standing at 0-0.
“I thought about it all day actually, I’ve envisioned a lot of things today and I went out there…I wanted to pound the outside and I spent the whole day working the outside until he wasn’t giving it to me,” starts Mayer. “Trying to stay composed out there. That was the toughest thing today, being that high-up last week. It was just trying to stay calm out there on the rubber today.
“It was really hard. I had to really dig deep for that one (in the seventh) and it felt really good. I felt like I could do it, I’ve done it before. But I dug deep and there it was, it felt really good.”
It was one of those situations for Green knowing they were one base-hit scoring one-, two-runs in those two situations, the seventh inning especially to put pressure on the Blue team entering the bottom half of the inning. It was one of those so-close-yet-so-far frustrations as the Blue squad starting the seventh inning with a Caden MacArthur single.
“Maybe we start playing small ball and get runs in scoring position, we did and we strike out. It happens all the time, we get guys in scoring position and it’s just not happening,” said Ellis on the frustrations.
MacArthur stole second and advance to third off a single before MacArthur scored off an sacrifice fly to seal the 1-0 victory for the Blue squad.
“It felt really good to see the team come through. It was a long day with not a lot of offense,” said Mayer. “We all knew we could get it done and getting it done when it counted felt really good.”
Photos By Jeremy McDonald